Participants agree to make the center their "medical home" and let their medical data be folded anonymously into a 10,000-person database, intended to help state health leaders make more informed decisions, as federal health reform unfolds.
The federal Health Research and Services Administration HRSA funded the project to help the state get ready for 2014, when an estimated 260,000 uninsured residents get coverage through federal health care reform.
It's a new program, John Law, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Human Resources said Monday, so some people who answer the phone may not yet be familiar with it. "Be persistant," he advised.
The DHHR is overseeing the program statewide.
People do not have to already be a health center patient, Law said. "One of our main goals is to enroll people who do not now have regular care," he said.
Lincoln Primary Care is holding public signup sessions this week in a library, school, and wellness center. "We'll sign people up 'till we reach our limit," said Kim Estep, project coordinator.
Even after the slots are gone, "the community health centers have so much to offer uninsured people," Cabin Creek's Crist said. "We have a sliding scale, a low-cost pharmacy, even a program that includes hospitalization. This is one good program among many."
Reach Kate Long at katel...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1798.