CONGRESSMAN GREEN VISITED MEDICAL CENTER

KARI MACKOWSKI

REVIEW Staff

Congressman Mark Green visited Perry County last week to tour Perry County Medical Center (PCMC) and meet with staff and community leaders.

Medical Center CEO Phillip Tatum spoke about the services that are offered as well as some issues the clinic has faced since COVID-19 and the closing of Perry Community Hospital last November.

PCMC is a primary care facility with behavioral health services, an in-house CLIA certified lab (the only lab in the county), and radiology department.

PCMC serves the community without regard to the patient’s ability to pay or lack of insurance, and operates on a sliding fee scale for uninsured patients.

According to Tatum, about 20% of their patients are uninsured, 25% are Medicaid, 25% are Medicare, and 30% are covered through commercial insurance.

Due to COVID and the closure of the hospital eight months ago, there has been a substantial increase in the clinic seeing behavioral health and urgent care patients.

Congressman Green, who is also a physician, asked Mr. Tatum whether or not the clinic can bill insurances at an urgent care rate versus a primary care rate.

Due to the clinic not being licensed as an urgent care facility, billable fees are capped so the clinic is not able to generate the additional revenue they would receive if they were a urgent care facility or stand alone ER.

Another issue Perry County is facing is the lack of incentive to bring a physician to our rural community.

State Representative Kirk Haston, who was present for the discussion, made a good point, saying that physicians would have to pass up higher paying opportunities closer to their schools or home area to come to our community.

Congressman Green offered a plausible solution that would involve the county providing …………

……..FOR COMPLETE STORY & PHOTO, PLEASE READ 7/21/21 ISSUE………….

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