Times are changing in the world of community clinics, including Marin Community Clinics. We are truly a different clinic than the one we were when founded over 42 years ago – and different than we were even two years ago.
Not only do we now provide a greater depth and breadth of services, but we are also serving patients from all walks of life.
With these changes, Marin Community Clinics is poised to take care of virtually anyone in the community. This includes a greater emphasis on meeting the needs of older adults.
What is changing – and why?
- We are no longer the “walk-in clinic” that many think of when they hear “community clinic.” Today, we offer a highly sophisticated system of care. It includes a Patient Call Center for immediate advice and easy appointment making, an array of comprehensive medical and dental care, and behavioral health services. Unlike many community clinics, we have on-site pharmacies, x-rays and optometry. We employ a Patient Centered Health Home approach whereby patients are cared for by an integrated team that looks at the whole person and their family.
- Today, Marin Community Clinics has over 300 staff – and we continue to grow. All of our physicians are board-certified and come from prestigious medical schools and our dentists come from top dental schools. And when patients require specialized care that we don’t provide, our Referral Team arranges for our patients to see medical specialists.
- Unprecedented growth. The Affordable Care Act – and, in California, the expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility criteria – have meant that thousands of people who were previously uninsured now have coverage. When people have health insurance, they are more likely to seek medical care. This means that community clinics across the country are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of patients. We now have 35,000 patients and the number of patient visits has almost tripled since 2008.
- A shift in the types of patients we are seeing. Community clinics such as ours were founded to serve low-income, uninsured and under-insured patients. In the past few years, given the changing health care landscape, many of these clinics have started seeing a broader patient population – more patients with commercial insurance and an increasing number of Medicare patients.
- Another important trend: Marin’s older population is increasing. Marin is the oldest Bay Area county – by 2030, an estimated 1 out for 3 Marin residents will be over 60 years of age. Seniors use the medical system more than the general population, so there will be a tremendous increase in the need for providers who not only have expertise in geriatric medicine, but also will accept Medicare and Medicare supplement plans. At the same time, many physicians are retiring or struggling in private practice. When primary care physicians retire, several thousand patients are left with the challenge of finding a new physician -often a very difficult task. The potential impact on older adults will be great.
Marin Community Clinics is prepared to respond
We have anticipated these changes and are embracing a more encompassing view of who we are and who we serve – understanding that our core mission of providing care to the underserved will not change.
With our award-winning quality, committed board of directors, superb staff, integrated services and state-of-the-art facilities, we are well-prepared
- The 2016 expansion of our Novato clinic is just one example. When completed, we will have 21 medical exam rooms, 3 additional dental chairs, and on-site radiology – all of which will increase access for our growing patient population in North Marin.
- Marin Community Clinics intends to play an active role in responding to the need for older adult services. To that end, we are currently engaged in a development strategy with senior living organizations and individual providers. Watch for more details on this in the near future.
- We currently accept patient with many commercial plans, Medi-Cal, Covered California, Medicare and many Medicare supplements.
What won’t change?
MCC’s core mission – to provide high quality, accessible and culturally-sensitive medical and dental care to Marin’s under-and uninsured population – will not change. The need is great and MCC will continue to play a vital role in filling the gap.
What does this mean to our financial health/philanthropic need?
Our need for philanthropic support will continue, because community contributions support the care we provide to low-income populations. Without our generous donors, we simply could not provide the services and programs that make Marin Community Clinics what it is today – and will be in the future.
What can Patients Expect at Our Clinics?
Patient can expect care that is equal to or exceeds the care one would find at any other provider in Marin.
- Highly trained, expert physicians, nurses and other clinicians
- Easy appointment making and on-the-spot nursing advice from our Call Center
- A strong focus on wellness and prevention; a team approach to care the focuses on the whole person
- When specialized care that we don’t provide is needed, a well-coordinated approach to connecting our patients with specialists.
- High quality standards and ratings. Marin Community Clinics is a federally-qualified community health center and as such meets strict standards for quality care. We have been recognized for its high quality by a number of prestigious outside organizations and our patients give us high satisfaction ratings.