McLaren Caro Rural Health Clinic

"Recently, McLaren Caro Family Medicine was surveyed by The Compliance Team Inc. on behalf of The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS conducts their own survey to determine whether a clinic qualifies as a Rural Health Clinic.

" The Compliance Team is a nationally recognized, Medicare-approved, healthcare accreditation organization based in Spring House, Pennsylvania. It is the only accreditation organization to offer the Exemplary Provider designation. During this survey, McLaren Caro Family Medicine at 220 E. Frank Street received this Exemplary Provider recognition from The Compliance Team.

" “The staff has worked extremely hard and put forth the upmost effort in making this accreditation a reality. The review we received from The Compliance Team just shows the dedication and care we have put into our community in providing excellent care to our patients. We had to follow very strict and stringent guidelines” says Laurie Ferris, McLaren Caro Region’s Operations Manager.

" CMS reviewed the clinic’s policies and procedures before conducting a virtual visit to visually examine the facility itself. Typically, a compliance team would have visited the site in person, but COVID-19 restrictions made a virtual visit necessary. “It certifies that we are maintaining services and being accommodating in a rural area,” Ferris explains. “We have services that aren’t typically available in a rural area.”

" For example, patients at the clinic can get testing such as urinalysis, Hemoglobin A1C, Hemoglobin/Hematocrit, and testing for flu, RSV, glucose, and pregnancy and “they can get the results right at the clinic. That’s a huge time savings,” Ferris says. According to CMS, the Rural Health Clinic program increases access to primary care services for patients living in rural communities with limited numbers of doctors and hospitals. To earn the accreditation, the clinics must prove they use a team approach to combine the services of physicians with other providers such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives.

" Teresa McDonald, FNP, who sees patients at the Frank Street clinic, has experience with preventive care for all ages, diagnosis and management of chronic illnesses/diseases, annual exams and testing, ensuring vaccinations are up to date, and coordinating with specialty care as needed. The Frank Street location also offers virtual care appointments and Department of Transportation physicals.

" Eventually, McLaren Caro hopes to complete the accreditation process for each of its clinics. “All of our clinics follow the same guidelines,” they just have not gone through the compliance team visits and inspections, she says.

" The accreditation changes the way the hospital bills insurances. It does not affect what insurance is accepted or how much patients pay out of pocket. The accreditation should reassure patients that McLaren Caro Region is Doing What’s Best for them. “If I were a patient coming in, I would feel that way,” Ferris says.