Friday, March 26, 2021

Moving Proximate

The GBMC HealthCare System realizes that we must be a part of the healthcare equity solution. We are building a new home for the Gilchrist Center Baltimore at Stadium Place to continue to give disadvantaged residents of Baltimore the same access to outstanding end-of-life care that the rest of us have. We moved into Baltimore City, at the Helping Up Mission (HUM), our inner-city primary care center, to aid the residents of that program and to provide advanced primary care to members of the community. 

The growth at HUM, has been slow, in large part, due to the pandemic. But this week I got great news from Erlene Washington, our Vice President for Physician Practice Management and Chief Operating Officer of GBMC HealthPartners. Amerigroup, the Medicaid serving HMO, has let us know that the number of their members in our practice has grown to 1,100!

Those insured by Medicaid often have difficulty finding doctors. Physicians in private practice rarely take Medicaid because the fee-for-service payments are too low for them to cover their costs. So, those on Medicaid are usually only left with hospital-based clinics that have limited hours and long waiting periods for appointments.

Our practice on East Baltimore Street is welcoming everyone in the community. We are providing advanced primary care there because we believe that everyone deserves the care that we want for our own loved ones. I am so grateful to Ericka V. Easley, MHA, Senior Ambulatory Practice Manager, and James Baronas, MD, Medical Director, for getting us to this point. It is our intention to learn from this practice, work with partners like Amerigroup, reduce waste, and change the payment system. We will then work towards adding other sites within the city. We must get proximate to the problem to be a part of the solution!

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