The Cascade Medical Clinic has become a part of the St. Charles Health System and changed its name to St. Charles Family Care – Redmond. Initially patients may not notice changes at the clinic because of its association with the health system, but over time physicians and St. Charles leaders believe that care will improve along with the health of the patients.
“Starting out you will get the same care that you have always been able to depend on with our doctors,” said Dr. Sheryl Norris, a family practice physician at Cascade Medical Clinic. “Over time we’ll be able to offer enhancements that will make it better.”
Norris and Dr. Dan Murphy both wanted Cascade Medical Clinic to join St. Charles because they believe the health system is heading in the right direction in its efforts to make care more accessible and seamless for patients in the region. The goal of the integrated delivery system is to improve the patient care experience, reduce the costs of care and improve the overall health of the population.
“We believe that achieving those three things starts with primary care,” said Mark Fairbanks, executive director of provider strategies for St. Charles. “Primary care providers are the first line of defense in keeping our community well.”
By aligning with the eleven physicians at Cascade Medical Clinic, St. Charles is taking the first step in building a base of primary care providers who will be held accountable to achieving nationally established benchmarks for quality health outcomes. And by being a part of St. Charles Health System, Murphy said, Cascade Medical Clinic — which has been in operation in Redmond for more than 60 years — will have additional resources to devote to improving the quality of the care provided.
“We were trying to figure out how to get more resources into achieving quality care,” Murphy said. “We ran into a wall.”
Because the clinic’s operations will be coordinated within the larger St. Charles Health System, Murphy said, he anticipates that more resources will be available to devote to quality initiatives. And, once the clinic becomes a St. Charles facility, it will fall within the hospital system’s nonprofit charity care guidelines, which means all patients will be accepted regardless of their insurance coverage or ability to pay for services.
“We keep seeing patients come in and say they are losing their insurance,” Norris said. “This will allow us to see patients and not be worried about if they can pay the bill.”