Blount County Health Department Provides Primary Care Beginning July 3
Nashville, June 19, 2006
The Blount County Health Department will begin offering an expanded list of adult primary care services on July 3. The expanded services are part of the state’s Health Care Safety Net to assist uninsured Tennesseans in the local area. Blount County is among the Tennessee counties receiving Safety Net Funds to increase access to primary care through enhanced services at county health departments. The county is also receiving an additional $1 million toward the construction of a new health department facility later this month.
Basic medical services will be offered on a sliding fee scale based on income, with a $5 minimum fee for each visit. This fee will be in addition to the charges for any drugs or supplies dispensed during the visit.
“I am proud that we are on a path to bring health coverage within reach of working Tennesseans by creating a more accessible health care system,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “While the work continues to get Cover Tennessee’s program components up and running, it is also heartening to be able to extend these transitional services.”
In addition to services previously offered, the clinics will provide treatment of acute illnesses, management of chronic diseases and referral assistance. The health department will also offer basic lab services and a limited pharmacy; however, no narcotics will be maintained at the health department site.
“Expanding adult primary care services at the Blount County Health Department will allow us to serve more people,” said East Tennessee Regional Health Director Paul Erwin, M.D. “As with other expansions that have occurred in the region, this will serve as an additional resource to provide primary care to residents of Blount or neighboring counties who are without health insurance.”
Beyond the new adult primary care services, the Blount County Health Department will continue to offer the following services: for children – immunizations, Well Child/EPSDT screens, WIC nutrition services, children’s special services care coordination, prenatal and child care coordination and clinical dental services; for adults – prenatal and child care coordination, breast and cervical cancer screening, family planning services, HIV counseling and testing and sexually transmitted disease control. The Blount County Health Department will also offer HIV counseling and testing for children.
The Blount County will provide primary care services at 1006 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway starting July 3. The clinic will eventually relocate to a renovated location at 301 McGhee Street in Maryville, known by local residents as the former site of the Blount County library site. Construction is scheduled to be complete in January 2007.
While the health department is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., hours of operation for the primary care clinic will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. Once the health department moves into its new location, primary care services are expected to be provided throughout the business week. To receive services, individuals must make an appointment in advance. To make an appointment or for more information, individuals should call the Blount County Health Department at (865) 983-4582.
The Health Care Safety Net offers transitional assistance programs for TennCare disenrollees including prescription assistance, insulin and diabetic supplies, mental health services and a variety of programs for special populations. For more information on the Health Care Safety Net call the Health Options Hotline 1-888-486-9355 or visit www.TNHealthOptions.com.