Second chances; Mayo Clinic launches new health care delivery model in Adams, LeRoy

2018-05-30 | Austin Daily Herald

May 30--ADAMS -- Those living in Adams and LeRoy may still get their healthcare right in their neighborhood.

Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Albert Lea and Austin launched a new health care delivery model that started on May 22, with the aim to provide Adams and LeRoy-area patients with accessible care options, paired with an on-site medical support staff.

Patients started scheduling visits in Adams with an on-site nurse on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This new healthcare model was conceived from listening sessions with residents and the mayors from Adams and LeRoy. According to Mayo Clinic Health System officials, the objective was to identify concerns and address obstacles that patients have to accessing healthcare.

"We are thrilled to launch this new care delivery model at the Adams clinic," said Annie Sadosty, regional vice president for Mayo Clinic Health System. "I've spent time with the mayors of Adams and LeRoy, who are both strong, innovative leaders. I also attended a community forum last summer in Adams where we pledged to work with the community find new ways to meet their health care needs. This is a fulfillment of that pledge."

The Mayo Clinic Health System in Adams had announced earlier in February that the clinic in Adams was set to close on May 18, after local family medicine physicians who ran the clinic had accepted positions in Mayo primary care practice in Rochester. It was previously anticipated that patients in the Adams and LeRoy area would have had to travel either to Austin or Rochester for care, according to a previous story.

"We are inspired by the partnership we've had in Adams and LeRoy as we deploy the new care model," said David Berg, associate administrator of outpatient care for Mayo Clinic Health System. "We value the relationships we have built over many years with the community and want to see those continue."

Two phases of the care delivery model will be launched:

--For phase one, a licensed practice nurse will be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays to provide scheduled lab draws, blood pressure checks, weight checks and peak flow meter measurements for asthma patients.

Immunizations will be available in the mornings. A registered nurse will also be available on Friday mornings to provide scheduled care, which could include some well child visits, anticoagulation management, hypertension management, patient education, Medicare annual wellness visits and minor clinical treatments.

--Phase two is expected to launch late summer, and would include video visits as a new asset to healthcare delivery in Adams. The visits would enable Adams or LeRoy patients to communicate directly with providers via secure video or computer link. The computers with video connections would be available for patients to use in the clinic, and staff would be present to help patients connect to the visit and become familiar with the technology.

"Access to health care is an important need in many small towns and rural communities," Berg said, "and we are very committed to finding a way to deliver care close to home in a sustainable, meaningful way. Through our community partnership, it is our hope to create a care model that could be replicated in small communities throughout Mayo Clinic Health System. We believe providing a varied level of care in Adams will reduce the need for patients to travel to Austin or Rochester."

Adams responds

After the program's launch in Adams, city officials also expressed their "excitement" in maintaining a mode of accessible health care.

"The city of Adams is excited," Adams Mayor Nancy Thalberg said. "We welcome this new health care delivery model that will be provided within our community for area residents."

Mayo officials also stated that the health system would continue to expand virtual capabilities throughout the United States.

"Video visits allow our providers from other Mayo Clinic sites to connect with patients in Adams via a secured video, keeping patients at home while delivering high-quality care," according to Jay Mitchell, chairman of the Southeast Minnesota Outpatient Practice subcommittee.

The health system also plans to host a community educational open house for patients who want to learn more about the clinic services and new methods of receiving care, including a demonstration of the technology and provider video visits.

Officials also stated that they will continue to meet with city and community leaders and residents to improve plans for the new model in Adams that is sustainable for the town and its healthcare needs moving forward.

An open house is set for 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, June 26 to include the new model of care.

"We are excited about the community partnership and this collaboration that will help us continue to explore new ways to deliver care in rural settings," Berg added.