Better Access to Care
Lets be honest, there is an access problem to quality dental services in the North West Metro Atlanta area for the uninsured and, the less commonly mentioned, underinsured. Dental care is expensive! To be fair, a lot of that cost is justified in the great service that dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, laboratory techs, and others in the dental industry provide daily to patients. They invest time and money going to school to be able to provide people with great care and they deserve to be rewarded for that. But a large portion of the cost of dental care can be contributed to the outdated and inflexible system that is used to provide it. It is unorganized at best, communication between providers is lousy, and access points to care are arranged to benefit providers instead of patients.
At the Community Health Center (CHC), we want to change that. We believe that by working together as a community, bringing patients, providers and other community players together, in a system that is streamlined to maximize value, we can cut the cost of providing care for the benefit of patients, while maintaining both the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits for providers and caregivers, the result of which is better access to care.
Membership at the Community Health Center is at it’s foundation is a partnership with a community based organization. Membership allows CHC to sustainably provide care at lower costs than customary in the private dental market while at the same time, reinvesting resources to provide care to those in our community who are the most vulnerable including senior citizens, veterans, and single parents.
Events In recent history, including record levels of unemployment and a deep recession, have put more responsibility on the backs of nonprofits to be more than just safety net providers. In fact, nonprofits and charity clinics are being asked to become a primary access point for many in the community for dental and medical services. The current system for providing dental care in our communities self selects to serve less and less of the population (aka the people with insurance) out of entrenched holding to the status quo, causing more and more people to lose access to care. This has to change and a new way of providing care must be created.
Sustainability is key to this endeavor because any solution we create must be able to address the current level of need in the community but also be flexible enough to scale with increasing demand for services. It is good to do good work today, but we would be irresponsible to the generations to come to not plan for the good work that must be done tomorrow and beyond.
Membership is a sustainable system that increases access to quality, affordable care, scales to meet the growing demand for dental and medical services, while at the same time purposefully focusing on giving back to the most vulnerable in the community.