AdventHealth Community Medicine Clinic at East Orlando
Established in 2018, the Community Medicine Clinic at AdventHealth East Orlando assists uninsured patients identified in the emergency department without primary care physicians. Patients with chronic illnesses are stabilized while the clinic’s social worker provides resources for a permanent medical home. Additionally, several specialty clinics provide limited dermatology, obstetrics/gynecology, sports medicine and digestive health services. The clinic’s goal is to treat 90 percent of arriving patients without a referral to specialists or a higher level of care, such as the emergency department. Since opening, the AdventHealth East Orlando clinic has seen 2,663 uninsured patients. It’s the second such clinic in the health care organization’s Central Florida network; the first clinic opened at AdventHealth Orlando in 2003.
AdventHealth leaders realized the need for the clinics when they observed a high number of uninsured patients visiting the AdventHealth East Orlando emergency department. The AdventHealth Orlando practice was also seeing a significant number of AdventHealth East Orlando patients. An internal survey of patients showed that 59 percent would seek care at the emergency department if the Community Medicine Clinic was not available.
To address this need, AdventHealth partnered with the Osteopathic Foundation and Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to provide grant funding to open the AdventHealth East Orlando clinic. The clinic currently partners with AdventHealth Imaging, Laboratories and Pharmacies to provide deep discounts for testing and medications to clinic patients. Finding an affordable space to rent was a challenge, as the clinic does not generate revenue. Grant funds are used to offset the cost to the campus for clinic expenses.
Conveniently located next to the AdventHealth East Orlando campus, the clinic is staffed with six team members, including a Medical Director who oversees both clinic locations, an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, a social worker, medical assistant, patient financial service advocate and receptionist. The East Orlando Osteopathic Residency and the Winter Park Family Medicine Residency also assist in patient care.
Hours include all weekdays during normal business hours, as well as evening appointments twice a week. Same-day appointments are available. The providers see an average of 153 patients a month. Patients are educated to use the clinic instead of the emergency department.
AdventHealth tracks how many patients return to the emergency department after their first clinic visit after 30, 60 and 180 days and one year later. Then the average cost of an emergency department visit is calculated for those patients who did not return, which is considered a cost savings to the campus.
The Community Medicine Clinic not only benefits the community, but also medical residents as they prepare to enter the workforce. The clinics are part of Graduate Medical Education, and the East Orlando Osteopathic residents rotate to this location during their community medicine rotations and can moonlight during the evening hours.
Chanel Adams, ARNP, who works at the AdventHealth East Orlando clinic, said, “By working with community partners, these clinics assist patients from all AdventHealth hospitals by ensuring uninsured and underserved Central Floridians receive needed care.”