1. How can I get my medications refilled? HMC needs 2 weeks to refill prescriptions. We need this time because our doctors are volunteers, are typically here one day per month, and are the ones responsible for authorizing patient's refills. To request refills that have been previously prescribed from our clinic please request a refill from your pharmacy. Better yet, send a detailed email to firstname.lastname@example.org that includes your name, phone number, medication name/dose/frequency, and which pharmacy you use (for example Destin Publix, or Niceville Walgreens, etc.), and we will call in your refills as soon as they are authorized by your provider.
2. How can I schedule an appointment at the clinic? Every patient leaves their appointments at HMC with a return appointment. We cannot always provide an exact date for your follow-up appointment because our doctors and clinicians are volunteering and usually do not have their work schedules several months in advance. We do provide the month in which patients will be seen and as soon as we know the exact date we let them know, patients with smart phones will receive notification via text while landlines will receive a confirmation phone call. You can also call the clinic at # (850) 837 - 8424, follow the prompts to "appointments" and leave a detailed message. We schedule patients based on doctor/provider availability and the patient's level of need.
3. I can't make it to my scheduled appointment, what should I do? HMC needs at least 24 hours notice of a cancelled appointment. This heads-up time allows us to fill that appointment slot with another patient, maximizing the time we have with our volunteer doctors and clinicians. We realize life happens, cars don't start, work schedules change, rides fall through, etc., but please notify HMC if you think you are going to miss an appointment. Failure to properly cancel appointments 3 times within a 12 month period will result in dismissal from the clinic program for one year. At that time former patients can be rescreened for clinic services.
4. How do referrals to other doctors work? HMC works with several volunteer specialist doctors in the community. These providers volunteer their time and resources as their schedules allow. When they let us know they have availability, we refer our patients in order of priority.
5. Does HMC do pain management? We do not. We realize that there are residents in our counties living with pain. To the best of our ability we will connect patients who have verified diagnoses to resources in the community (i.e. pain management), but it is a specialty that is outside the scope of this clinic's practice.
1. I am a medical or healthcare professional and am interested in volunteering, how do I get started? Thank you for your interest, we couldn't do it without you. Please contact our Director Tim Roberts at # (850) 837-8424, email him at email@example.com or come by the clinic at 150 Beach Drive, Destin, FL. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday - Thursday for more information.
2. What legal protections exist for medical volunteers at HMC? In addition to Sovereign Immunity protections provided by the state of Florida, providers and nurses are also protected legally through the Volunteer Healthcare Provider Program. We set up a simple at will contract provided through the Florida Department of Health and the state of Florida. Please contact HMC for more information regarding legal protections available to our providers and nurses.
3. What does an average day look like at the clinic? Our goal is quality medicine practiced sustainably. To the degree we can, we customize provider's schedules to their specifications. Typically, providers work one 3 - 4 hour shift per month, and see between 5 - 10 patients, other providers have more availability or prefer fewer/more patients per shift and we accommodate this to the best of our ability. We are not a walk-in clinic, all patients have been screened in advance and matched with the provider(s) we feel best meet their needs.
4. Do I have to be in the medical field to volunteer? Nope. Clinic volunteers do everything from running our lab machines, running our prescription assistance program, answering questions our patients have about the services we provide, assisting patients with documents, and entering patient profiles into our electronic medical records system and case management program.
5. Do volunteer hours count towards my CE's/CEU's? Yep. Healthcare volunteers can fulfill up to 25% of their CE's through working at the clinic. In addition, licensing fees can be waived by the state of Florida. For more information please contact our Director Tim Roberts at # (850) 837 - 8424, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Can I do my clinical hours at the clinic? Yep. Students can be a big help to us at the clinic and we're glad to play a part in educating the healthcare professionals of the future. We have worked most often with student NP's from UAB and USA, and RN-BSN students from NWFSC, but have also worked with MD, DO, and PA students from various programs. Please contact our Director Tim Roberts at # (850) 837 - 8424, or email him at email@example.com for more information.
1. How many uninsured people are there in Okaloosa and Walton counties? According to the most recent county health rankings, there are an estimated 50,000 uninsured residents of Okaloosa and Walton counties between the ages of 18 and 65. In addition, there is another large group that is technically insured (with Medicaid, for example) but lack access due to the relative shortage of doctors/providers who will accept it. For more information related to healthcare in our counties, please use the following county health rankings web address and specify Okaloosa and/or Walton counties: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/florida/2014/overview
2. Aren't free clinics a waste of money? Not if you value healthy individuals, families, and local economies. Burning money would probably be considered a waste of money by most of us. Free clinics help keep people healthy, families in their homes, employees working, and local businesses open, all of which strengthen the communities they come from.
3. Doesn't everyone have health insurance now? Unfortunately, no. The costs of health insurance and medical care far exceed what many residents in Okaloosa and Walton counties (as well as others) can afford, even with the passing of the ACA. Average costs of health insurance for Floridians are between $300 - 500 per month, per person. This is for insurance alone, and does not cover other expenses such as copays, prescriptions, and/or procedures.
4. Why is it so difficult to access routine medical care in Okaloosa and Walton counties? There are several challenges to accessing routine medical care in our area. For those residents that don't get insurance through their jobs it typically costs $300 - 500 per month per person for the insurance alone. This cost does not cover copays, prescriptions, or procedures. In addition to the estimated 50,000 uninsured residents in Okaloosa and Walton counties, there is another large group of people who have insurance that is not accepted by many doctors/providers, for example Medicaid. There are also a limited number of doctors/providers here. Those that are here are often completely booked with insured patients due to the relative shortage of them, for uninsured patients it can be nearly impossible to be seen regularly. Specialists can be even more difficult to access, if they exist at all here. Often, patients may need to travel to Pensacola, Tallahassee, Birmingham, or Mobile to access the specialists they need. The third barrier to access in this area is distance. While the southern end of our counties are relatively populated, the central and northern areas can be much more rural. The three major hospitals in our area are all in the southern and central parts of the counties, making it difficult for some residents to be followed regularly.