Men's Breakfast Report, August 2013

The Men’s Breakfast Group met Saturday, August 10th with Mark Young, executive director of the Stephen F. Austin Health Clinic.  Mark was raised in Longview Texas and worked in various mental health and drug abuse clinics before becoming executive director of the Stephen F. Austin Clinic. 

The Stephen F. Austin Clinic is a federally qualified health clinic.  This means that it gets a federal subsidy to cover part of its costs.  It also means that it has to follow more federal regulations and keep more records than otherwise.  It gets money from Medicaid, Medicare and private insurers.  This clinic is taking over management of the Freeport Health Clinic.  Lee Attema will now be working in other locations to expand services to other areas of the county.  Allysa Strambler will take over nurse practitioner duties at the Freeport site.  The Stramblers have participated in NOBCChE and been to functions at our church. 

There were discussions about general trends in medical care.  One of the topics was the fee for service payment system that now dominates medical care.  This will probably be replaced by other systems in the future such as capitation.  Another system discussed was cash-only service.  Some doctors accept only cash and let the patient figure out how to pay for the service.  This reduces paperwork and costs but only well-off patients can afford to utilize it.  The paperwork and recordkeeping is a major expense of medical practice.  Lee said he did an experiment several years ago with low recordkeeping.  He found that he could use one aide to carry out office duties and routine nursing duties such as blood pressure measurements.  This is in contrast with the usual two to four assistants found in most doctors’ offices. 

The men had an interesting discussion and a good breakfast.  The next meeting will be September 14th.