Regional Good Samaritan Clinic gets perfect score on site visit
Just a few years after transitioning from a free health clinic only for Pickens County residents to a health center that takes a variety of government and private insurance and offers sliding-scale prices for the uninsured, Good Samaritan has pulled out a perfect score on their recent site visit from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Of all the Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Georgia, Good Sam was the only one awarded a perfect score this calendar year, and only one of three in the entire nation.
“The Health and Human Services site visit is one of the most critical components of retaining our FQHS status,” said Good Sam’s Chief Executive Officer Tammi Sorrells.
“The site visit score indicates that we successfully achieved a number of clinical, administrative and financial measures, and highlights the outstanding quality of care delivered by our clinical team.”
In a tour of Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center’s new facilities last week, site leaders not only discussed their excitement over the impeccable score from the HRSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Human Services, but also spoke about expanded services they offer as a FQHC.
“I think people still think of us as a free clinic,” said Dr. Ken Austin, former Piedmont cardiac physician who is on staff at the clinic.
“I don’t think they realize how much we do and offer here now.”
The clinic now accepts Medicare, Medicaid, Peach Care, private insurance, Vet Choice and has a sliding scale fee for the uninsured.
They can also see patients from outside Pickens County. Services include medical, dental, pharmaceutical, vision, behavioral health and pediatric. They also offer a Prescription Drug Assistance Program that helps qualifying patients get access to brand name or specialty drugs the in-house pharmacy may not supply.
Sorrells toured a reporter around Good Sam’s new facility — a big step up from the compound of mobile homes they operated out of for more than 10 years. The brick-and-mortar clinic features eight exam rooms, rooms designated for nurse practitioners, a pharmacy, four dental rooms, rooms for behavioral health services, an x-ray room and more.
The clinic has a solid base of staff and volunteer medical service providers, but there is plenty of room to grow and the new facility has the space to accommodate.
Currently, for example, the clinic wants to expand their vision and dental services, and has recently received grants to expand behavioral health services, as well as improve their x-ray equipment to digital imaging.
Operational site visits like the one HRSA recently performed ensures the center is in compliance with federal requirements. HRSA reviews clinical, staffing, financial and governance over the three-day site visit.
FQHC’s are community-based organizations that provide comprehensive primary and preventative care to persons of all ages. Good Samaritan has held the designation since 2015.
“To say that we are excited about the audit results is an understatement,” said Sally Long, chair of Good Sam’s board of directors.
“While our executive leadership should be acknowledged for this achievement, it takes everyone to make a clinic like ours successful: administration, clinical staff, volunteers, donors, community supporters — everyone.”