Brown County’s health clinic is not fulfilling the needs of the community as a whole, according to a group of graduate students in Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business which has spent a semester studying the issue.
Brown County wants an all-inclusive health center that is federally funded to help serve more uninsured patients. Bill Todd leads the advocacy group Brown Countians for Quality Health Care and says the county can also work with primary care physicians in Bloomington and Columbus, but convenience is important to residents.
“I would be in favor of collaborating with the existing facilities and working with the state in their funding sources to come up with a comprehensive model rather than just a piecemeal model,” Todd says.
Todd says Brown County’s doctor-to-patient ratio is about twice the state average, with more than 1,600 residents to each physician.
Taylor Cates, one of the Kelley School students who studied the county’s health issues, says since Indiana Health Center took over management of the clinic, the numbers of both patients and patient visits have dropped.
“Right now it’s just not meeting the standards that were originally set by the county, as far as hours of operation the clinic right now is open three days a week,” Cates says. “The average visits per day are 2.2 patient visits.
The study’s recommendations include having a more community-based and wide-ranging community wellness center in order to attract more primary care physicians to the area.