Now Accepting Those Who Qualify with Insurance
Good Samaritan Clinic has been in existence since 2003. It was formed to provide Primary Medical Care to individuals that did not have access to medical care elsewhere. The first evening that the Clinic opened at one of the local churches, we saw 70 patients. The Clinic has grown to the one of the largest Charitable Non-Profit Medical Clinics in the State of Arkansas. Today we are open five days a week and we have 6,000 to 7,000 patients visits on an average, per year. We have an active patient base of over 10,000 individuals. With our staff and many volunteer, we provide quality medical care to the low income and underserved population of Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. Unfortunately, the need for the clinic continues to grow due tot the continuing poor economy and the many lay-offs and closing of local business. many people are losing their health insurance as many businesses are channeling their health insurance coverage. Most of our patients are the low and middle class individuals who work multiple jobs
but still do not have access to medical care.
The world of medical care is changing rapidly and will continue to change over the next few years. Effective January 1, 2014, everyone in the State of Arkansas and Oklahoma could either sign up for the Medicaid or sign up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Exchanges. However, this is not happening for many reasons, many are just not interested, many cannot afford the premiums, many have been denied, or had their insurance canceled, etc. There is a need for these individuals to come to Good Samaritan Clinic and the need is growing. Of these individuals who have signed up for Medicaid or insurance through the exchanges there are two major problems. Those who have signed up for Medicaid are having a problems finding a physician who will see them, as many physicians do not like Medicaid or accept large numbers of Medicaid patients. Those individuals who have gotten health insurance through the exchanges, many of them have large deductibles of $2000 or more per year. When these individuals go to local clinics, they are required to pay up front to be seen and sometimes these deposits can be as much as $150. Then they are required to pay for services rendered that day, or they will not be seen again. Many of our patients do not have the money to pay for these services. So they are putting off going tot he doctor and they get sicker and end up in the emergency room for series that most of them cannot pay to receive. Our local hospital emergency rooms are being overwhelmed with patients because they have nowhere else to go for medical care.
Based on these facts, we have begun to accept patients at Good Samaritan Clinic that have Medicaid or Insurance through the exchanges. These are individuals that even though they have health insurance, they still do not have access to medical care which is part of our mission here at the Clinic. This does not mean we have become a government agency. We have no plans at this time to bill the Insurance Agencies or Medicaid. As always, we will continue to accept new patients even if they cannot pay for services. There are more people than ever that need our help that still do not have access to medical care.
On behalf of myself, our staff, our volunteer, our Board of Directors and most of all our patients and their families, we want to thank everyone who has helped and supported Good Samaritan Clinic. Without your support, we would not exist. We want to assure you that your support and funds are being used to efficiently help many people in the Fort Smith area. We are helping a lot of people everyday at the clinic get the medical help that is desperately needed. A lot of “God” things are happening at this Clinic. You may need the services that Good Samaritan Clinic provides, but I assure you that you know of someone that needs our help. Your financial help and support is needed now more than ever.