Schools to Feature Full Medical Clinics Next Year

Moochie HartTim Wright

In the next school year, Anderson County Schools will be featuring a new medical system to help children receive medical attention and not require working parents to miss work.  During last night’s school board meeting, representatives from Cumberland Family Medical and the Anderson County Health Department presented to the board a new school health program where nurses stations at the schools will be recreated into actual medical clinics.

Moochie Hart, director of school based services at Cumberland Family Medical, explained that they have partnered with six other school districts in the state to not only provide school nurses but also have a district wide nurse practitioner who will be able to treat children right on site.  Anderson County district currently requires parents to either pick up their sick child or have them sit at the nurses stations, but under the new system, they can schedule an appointment to see the district wide nurse practitioner that day after getting approval from the parents.  The children will receive all forms of treatment like any other medical clinic (minus x-rays), so the parents don’t have to miss work to take their child to the doctor.

According to Moochie, the nurse practitioner service will not cost the school district or health department at all.  Cumberland Family Medical will be directly billing insurance companies, so parents will be paying standard co-pays as they would at a doctor’s office.  For those without insurance or under insured, Cumberland Family Medical receives federal funding to provide a sliding fee schedule to reduce costs to families.

The arrangement that was proposed to the school board will actually save the district considerable money.  Anderson County Health Department director, Tim Wright, explained that currently the cost for the school health program, which provides five school nurses, costs the department $325,000.  The school district currently pays $127,500 for the service, but under the new contract, Cumberland Family Medical will pay 51% of the nurses salaries and fringe benefits.  According to Tim, the new contract will save the district a minimum of $17,500 with a high likelihood of that going to $37,500.

The school board enthusiastically agreed to the program, which will not only save costs, but also provide more services. The program will keep the current five nurses and will add a nurse practitioner and nurse team to make rounds to the different schools.  According to Moochie, the program will help bolster attendance, and can also be used by staff and faculty.

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Posted in Health & Fitness, School & Education.

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