Community health centers offer 'one-stop shops' for health care

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by Sybil Hoffman

Video report by Yetta Gibson

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 6:34 AM

PHOENIX -- A simple doctor's visit could look a whole lot different next year after the Affordable Care Act takes effect. Now, a new kind of clinic is popping up all over the valley, catering to all health care needs. It's basically like a one-stop shop of healthcare.

6 year old Kailyn has been battling a recurring fever for several months. And while dealing with it on a case-by-case basis at an ER or urgent care has been an option, her mom Jolyn Lackey was looking to get to the bottom of it once and for all.

That's what brought her to Banner Primary Care, one of Banner Health's Community Health Centers.

"We have pediatricians, we have family medicine, we have internal medicine all on-site," says a staffer at the clinic.

Banner, already a key player in hospitals, is moving into what many see as the future of health care: primary care clinics.

"Everything from your basic services, lab, radiology, pharmacy, behavioral health and dentistry," says Tara McCollum-Plese of AZ Alliance for Community Health Centers. "That's what they refer to as a medical home."

Dr. Christopher Bonati says the model enables him to focus on patients, not business. "Having Banner here to support the business side of things makes it easy for me to do what I really like to do, which is seeing patients and taking care of them," he says.

And with a larger system, doctors can better track patients, thanks to electronic medical records.

"Just the quality," says Dr. Bonati. "I don't think if i was able to open up a practice, I could have a lab on-site."

That quality of care will be key to whether these clinics succeed, according to McCollum-Plese. "You're going to have these groups that are not going to be charged for just for every single procedure that they perform, but they're looking at the quality of the health care that they're providing."

Join us Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. for a 3TV special report called Health care: Reform of Ripoff?  We're breaking down this very complex piece of legislation so you know what to expect when open enrollment begins next week.

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