- Organization Name:Access OC
- Address:Access OC
25283 Cabot Road, Suite 101
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
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The mission of Access OC is to strengthen the safety net for specialty care by developing a series of innovative programs and coordinating these programs through a blend of electronic solutions, case management and improved communications and education.
To this end, Access OC operates two programs designed to enhance access to specialty care for Orange County’s medically indigent: Our Outpatient Surgery Program and eConsult.
Through our flagship Outpatient Surgery Program, Access OC provides essential outpatient surgery to low-income patients with no insurance. Services provided are medically necessary, non-emergency outpatient surgical procedures, including but not limited to hernia repair; cataract removal and cyst excisions; and certain ear, nose and throat, orthopedic and urological procedures. Our program operates year-round on an ongoing basis.
Our target population consists of low-income, uninsured Orange County residents who fall at or below 250% of federal poverty level, lack healthcare coverage and are ineligible for public reimbursement programs. Without our help, patients’ conditions would be left untreated until they became emergencies—simply because needed specialty care services are inaccessible and/or unaffordable. Consequently, patients would suffer from heightened/ongoing pain and co-morbidities, lose their ability to work, become reliant on government assistance programs and suffer other negative outcomes.
To identify patients in need of services, we collaborate with 16 Orange County free/community clinics, which refer eligible patients. To provide surgeries, we recruit, collaborate with and coordinate the contributed services of local hospitals (currently eight are participating) — which donate their facilities and equipment. We also recruit, collaborate with and coordinate the contributed services of more than 800 volunteer clinicians (surgeons, physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses) and other hospital staff annually, who donate their time and expertise to conduct surgeries and provide pre- and post-operative care.
Throughout our program, we also engage the services of more than 100 community volunteers, who serve as language interpreters and/or greeters for our patients on surgery days, register and track volunteer hours, and staff events. The strategic use of partners and volunteers significantly promotes sustainability of the Outpatient Surgery Program: As a result of this strategy, every $1,000 donated leverages approximately $3,000 of patient services.
We are also leading a collaborative electronic consult program (eConsult), designed to further enhance access to specialty care for Orange County’s medically indigent and reduce the demand for high-cost emergency medical services. By streamlining and expediting communication between safety-net primary care physicians and specialists, our eConsult program helps prevent inappropriate specialty referrals (thereby freeing up specialists’ time for more patients who truly need their care), reduce patient wait times for specialty appointments, and expedite urgent referrals.
Our programs are of great value to our community: Local uninsured residents receive the care they need; participating community clinics are provided with referral resources to serve uninsured patients needing specialty care; hospital partners and physicians have an opportunity to help residents with the greatest unmet needs; and the greater community reaps the benefits of reduced emergency room visits, and of fewer uninsured residents whose pain causes inability to work—and thus, reliance on public assistance programs. (Our programs thus have the potential to reduce costs to the healthcare system overall and, indirectly, boost the local economy).
Access OC was established by the Health Funders Partnership of Orange County (HFPOC) — a group of local foundation, corporate and public-sector funders that came together in 1999 to explore opportunities to improve local health. Individual members of the HFPOC continue to provide partial funding and other support to Access OC. OneOC (formerly known as Volunteer Center Orange County) is our fiscal sponsor — an arrangement that allows OneOC and Access OC to share administrative platforms, thereby avoiding duplicative overhead costs.
In 2004, the HFPOC sponsored an assessment of healthcare needs and challenges in Orange County, which identified a significant gap in specialty care services for under- and uninsured residents. For example, while individuals may access primary care through certain private-practice primary care physicians or free and low-cost community clinics, there is a significant gap in the availability of specialty care, which is generally not offered at safety-net medical offices or clinics. Under- and uninsured clinic patients must typically face long waits for specialty care visits — and 12 months or longer for needed surgery.
Access OC was formed in 2005 to address this need and increase access to specialty care among local, medically indigent residents. Since our inception, Access OC has successfully created two innovative programs: Our Outpatient Surgery Program and eConsult — both designed to respond directly to the pressing need for specialty care in our region.
We have experienced great success with our initiatives. Through our Outpatient Surgery Program, for example, we have helped more than 336 patients obtain needed specialty care to date — totaling more than $4 million in care. And with regard to eConsult, we anticipate that all 19 Orange County clinics will begin using our program by December 2011.
In recognition of our work, Access OC has received numerous awards — including the CalOptima Safety Net Award in Honor of Mary K. Dewane in 2010, the 2010 and 2011 Orange County Community Foundation ReachOut OC award, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Orange County Chapter’s 2010 National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Philanthropic Group Award, and Kaiser Permanente’s 2010 David E. Lawrence Community Service Group Award in the “Domestic/US Service” category — one of only four awards given nationwide.
Although we have made great strides toward our goal of increasing access to healthcare, the need for specialty care services is greater today than ever before in the history of our organization. As a result of the current economic crisis, thousands of Orange County residents have lost their jobs (and their employer-provided health insurance) and are experiencing reduced income to cover self-pay services. Accordingly, even more residents are now eligible for, and in need of, our services. Indeed, the demand for our assistance has doubled since 2008.
We sincerely hope The Lawrence Foundation will join us in our work — helping to increase access to specialty health care for patients in need.
- Year established:2005
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:None
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