HCM partners with Frontera to expand clinic services here

Hill Country Memorial is partnering with Frontera Healthcare Network to expand health services that have been provided through the HCM Community Health Center since the 1990s.

The initiative is a response to recent health care reforms, and is designed to bring a broader spectrum of services to the community, according to Emily Padula, HCM executive director of integration and outreach.

“Due to changes coming with the Affordable Care Act, the state of Texas lost federal funding previously used to support clinics like ours,” Padula said. “Rather than leave low-income patients without needed health services, we approached Frontera Healthcare Network about forming a collegial partnership to expand those services for the community. They are able to provide the services we had been providing in addition to primary care for Medicaid patients.”

According to Padula, the HCM Community Health Center has provided health services and education for low-income residents since 1996, when it began as an outreach program of the hospital. Since then, it expanded into a busy, full-time clinic, caring for those who were eligible for some state funds.

The most commonly accessed services at the clinic include women’s health screening, contraception, testing and treatment for most sexually transmitted diseases, cervical, breast and testicular cancer screening and treatment, and prenatal care.

Client fees have been based on family size and income, and assessed on a sliding scale, Padula said. Frontera will provide most of these same services and will have similar charges.

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