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The Lufkin News

Health District board reviews service report

District provided 44,299 clinical services during recently completed fiscal year

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Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012 1:15 am

The Angelina County and Cities Health District provided more clinical and provider services to residents during fiscal 2012 compared to the previous year, health district officials said Wednesday.

During a meeting of the Angelina County and Cities Health District Board, Administrator Sharon Shaw told board members the district provided 44,299 clinical services, which include lab tests and immunizations, during the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31. That’s an increase of about 4.1 percent from last year’s total of 42,547.

Provider visits, patients who saw a physician assistant, totaled 12,040, up about 7.4 percent compared to the previous year.

Those primary care expenditures, including provider visits and clinical services, cost $1,590,082 in 2012, up about 6 percent from the $1,500,092 spent the year before. However, Shaw said, the average cost per provider visit went down about 1.3 percent, from $133.79 per visit last year to $132.07 per visit in 2012.

“We’re real pleased with that cost,” Shaw told board members. “It should be an effective, efficient program, and you shouldn’t be spending $1,000 per person. You need to do that in an effective manner.”

Citing lower birth rates in the county, Shaw said obstetric visits at the district totaled 749 this year, down about 14.2 percent from the 873 visits the district saw last year. 

Well child visits also decreased, totaling 449 in 2012, down about 27 percent. That statistic is related to Texas Health Steps, a Medicaid-related program that focuses on the medical, dental, and case management services for ages birth through 20. Shaw said fewer people are showing up for Medicaid-mandated physical exams for their children.

“People don’t show up for their appointments,” she said. “You’ve got to have mom, dad, grandma or aunt bring those kids in for those exams. We’re working with the state Medicaid program on calling and reminding. They will take a person’s Medicaid away if they don’t come for their physicals.”

Patient census statistics also showed that fewer individuals were referred to Medicaid in 2012, down about 6 percent from the year before.

Jail visits requiring a physician assistant also decreased, from 558 last year to 458, down about 18 percent. That statistic doesn’t include jail visits by a nurse, which Shaw said they would start tracking this year.

Screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis increased in 2012 by about 11 percent and 6 percent respectively, according to district statistics.

Participation in WIC, a federally funded special supplemental nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers and young children eat well and learn about nutrition, went down about 2 percent, from 43,464 last year to 42,574 in 2012. Shaw said WIC monies received by local food vendors totaled about $2.2 million in 2012, up about 5 percent.

Shaw also reminded board members that flu immunizations were available to the public at the district’s clinic at a cost of $20.

In other business, board members approved a financial report and an investment report.

Steve Knight’s email address is sknight@lufkindailynews.com.

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