G-M Care Clinic to adopt hybrid model

- Posted on Jul 10, 2019 - 12:29 PM

Photo: Shown are some of the guests at a recent Gloucester-Mathews Care Clinic stakeholder meeting at White Hall, seated from left, GMCC supporter Harvey Morgan, GMCC supporters and event hosts Charles and Mari Ann Banks, executive director Arlene Armentor; back row, volunteer Jon Lucy, board member Dianne Lucy, medical director Dr. Wayne Reynolds, GMCC board president Louise Theberge, board member Nancy Dykeman and volunteer provider Dr. Maurice Murphy.

Shown are some of the guests at a recent Gloucester-Mathews Care Clinic stakeholder meeting at White Hall, seated from left, GMCC supporter Harvey Morgan, GMCC supporters and event hosts Charles and Mari Ann Banks, executive director Arlene Armentor; back row, volunteer Jon Lucy, board member Dianne Lucy, medical director Dr. Wayne Reynolds, GMCC board president Louise Theberge, board member Nancy Dykeman and volunteer provider Dr. Maurice Murphy.

Gloucester-Mathews Care Clinic announced recently that it has expanded its patient eligibility criteria, and will shift its service model to what is known as a “hybrid” clinic. The clinic will continue to serve uninsured patients, but will also accept Medicaid-enrolled patients. 

This is in response Virginia becoming the 33rd state in the nation to expand Medicaid. This means approximately 400,000 people throughout Virginia will have access to quality, low-cost health insurance through the state’s Medicaid expansion, according to Care Clinic executive director Arlene Armentor. 

Clinic supporters Charles and Mari Ann Banks recently hosted a gathering of GMCC’s stakeholders at their home at White Hall in Zanoni to announce and discuss the upcoming changes. The new model is slated to take effect in January 2020.

GMCC was started in 1998 when a group of members from Abingdon Episcopal Church launched a local medical clinic to serve community members who could not afford insurance. Last year, the clinic served just over 900 low-income patients delivering an estimated $5.5 million in on-site care, Armentor said.

She estimates that 79 percent of the clinic’s current patient population qualifies for Medicaid. In response, the GMCC has adopted two strategies for its service model that will best serve the community moving forward.  

First, the eligibility criteria have been expanded so that those uninsured individuals who make up to 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level now qualify to be a GMCC patient. The following income limits qualify: Four people in a household, $77,250; three people in a household, $63,990; two people in a household, $50,730 and one person in a household, $37,470. Patients must be a resident of Gloucester or Mathews counties and at least 18 years of age, Armentor said.

“We know there are hard-working citizens in our community who make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but may not qualify for insurance benefits through their employer, or don’t make enough to afford the premiums and deductibles of many health insurance plans,” said GMCC board president Louise Theberge. “It’s estimated there are 1,200 or more adults in Gloucester and Mathews counties who will remain uninsured,” she said. “Expanding our eligibility criteria means we can provide care and medications to more residents who are currently without insurance.”

Hybrid model

The second strategy is to become a hybrid clinic, allowing the GMCC to serve Medicaid-enrolled patients in addition to uninsured residents. “Deciding to become a hybrid clinic was the right decision for the GMCC to best serve the most amount of people in our area, and to make the most impact,” Armentor said. “This change will enable us to continue as the medical home for patients who have been served by the clinic for many years and now have Medicaid. For those patients whose Medicaid eligibility may change over time due to their fluctuating income, GMCC being a hybrid clinic will ensure their continuity of care and medications whether they have Medicaid coverage or not.”

As a clinic supporter, Mari Ann Banks knows that during this change, support from the local community will be critical. “The clinic has been a health safety net for many, playing an integral role in the health and well-being of our residents,” she said. “Medicaid will not cover everyone, and it will be as important as ever for the GMCC to continue to receive support from volunteer healthcare providers, donors and funders.”