Men's Breakfast Report, March 2014

The Men’s Breakfast Group met Saturday, March 8th with Alissa Strambler, nurse practitioner at the Freeport Medical Clinic.  Alissa is a long-time Freeport resident and graduated from Freeport High School.  She became interested in medicine at age nine when she accompanied her mother to Dr. Creel.  Alissa did not like Dr. Creel’s Bedside manner and decided that she could do better.  After high school she became a licensed practical nurse and worked at this for several years. She got her bachelor’s degree and registered nurse certification a couple of years ago.  She recently became a nurse practitioner and went to work at the Freeport Medical Clinic.

The structure of medical care was discussed.  There is primary care, urgent care and emergency care.  The cost and complexity increase in that order.  New urgent and emergency care facilities are being opened to take advantage of generous Medicare and insurance reimbursement rates for their use.  Primary care is underfunded and not as available as it should be.  The Freeport clinic provides primary care by Alissa, a nurse practitioner.  Nurse practitioners do not get as high a salary as doctors so this service is less expensive than a doctor’s clinic. 

Although the clinic is a standalone facility, Alissa’s work is under the Stephen F Austin federally supported health service out of Alvin.  This service takes care of liability and provides money to pay for services to indigents and for some overhead.  The clinic also accepts Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance and cash.  It is generally much cheaper for noninsured patients than traditional medical services.  Alissa and Lee encourage people to use the clinic, especially Freeport residents, even if they are insured.  This will help the financial position of the clinic and provide faster, more convenient service to the patients. 

The clinic provides limited vision and dental services to patients in addition to primary medical care.  The clinic is in the process of getting a part-time psychiatrist for mental health issues.  It is not yet known if the psychiatrist will be able to treat adult attention deficit disorder. 
The men had an interesting discussion and a good breakfast.  The next meeting will be April 12.