USA Health, the academic medical system of the University of South Alabama, and Accordia Health, a primary care division of AltaPointe Health, recently announced they have established a partnership …
USA Health, the academic medical system of the University of South Alabama, and Accordia Health, a primary care division of AltaPointe Health, recently announced they have established a partnership to further expand health care access to Gulf Coast residents.
Through the partnership, USA Health family medicine providers will practice under the umbrella of Accordia Health. USA Health providers described the move as uniting the common missions of both organizations and advancing them through an integrated health care delivery model.
"The USA Health Family Medicine clinic has been delivering integrated health care for more than 20 years, and our team of providers has enabled us to deliver the quality of care that our patients have grown to expect," said Ehab Molokhia, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Family Medicine and a professor of family medicine at the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine. "The Accordia practice is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that is built around the same model of care. Practicing under Accordia's FQHC umbrella will expand our ability to deliver a higher level of integrated care as we continue to offer our patients the opportunities and resources needed to improve their health."
Accordia Health integrates primary care and behavioral health care to treat the whole person, with an emphasis on preventive services, such as regular check-ups and screenings, to help address patient concerns before they become more serious. This approach offers comprehensive and holistic treatment that also enables early detection and intervention for mental health issues, which often intertwine with physical conditions.
Integrating care can also reduce mental health stigma and foster an environment where patients feel comfortable discussing their emotional struggles and physical ailments.
"We are excited about this partnership in that it facilitates timely interventions, preventive measures and health education, ultimately reducing the likelihood of severe illnesses and complications for all people," said Tuerk Schlesinger, Accordia Health chief executive officer. "Collaboration is the catalyst for improved patient outcomes and addresses the multiple dimensions of health, leading to more effective and lasting results."
In the United States, FQHCs play a crucial role in increasing access to quality health care services for underserved populations, improving health outcomes and reducing health care disparities. As an FQHC, Accordia accepts all patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
"Through our partnership with Accordia, we will offer 340B pharmacy services that will help connect our patients with the resources to obtain the medications they need," Molokhia said. "With these added resources we hope to improve our ability in keeping our patients healthy and reducing preventable hospital visits."
The pharmacy service known as 340B is a medication pricing program made possible by the federal government that assists in making medications affordable to those who qualify.
"Family medicine serves as the first point of contact for many patients because of its comprehensive scope of practice," said John V. Marymont, M.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Whiddon College of Medicine. "This partnership with Accordia Health will allow our providers to expand the reach of their high-quality medical care."
For USA Health, the partnership will benefit more than patients.
"We will continue our mission to train family medicine residents and educate our College of Medicine students in the new clinic, which will expose our learners to an advanced model of health care delivery with an interprofessional team-based approach," Molokhia said.
Owen Bailey, M.S.H.A., FACHE, USA Health chief executive officer and senior associate vice president for medical affairs, recognized the value of the opportunity the partnership provides.
"The USA Health Family Medicine Department has been successful delivering quality primary care for all residents of our area," he said. "This partnership combining primary and behavioral health care is important because it acknowledges the inseparable link between physical and mental well-being, and by combining the two, it will further enhance our ability to meet our patients' needs."
To accommodate this change, USA Health family medicine providers will move from the Strada Patient Care Center to Accordia Health's offices at 2419 Gordon Smith Drive in Mobile, where they will see patients beginning Tuesday, Sept. 5. To schedule appointments, call (251) 434-3475.