New clinic at Seton Northwest being hailed as innovative health care model

Lone Star Circle of Care has partnered with Seton Healthcare Family to open a multi-service clinic that many in the industry are saying is an innovative approach to health care.

Georgetown-based LSCC is a nonprofit organization with a mission to serve the uninsured and underinsured population. The new clinic opened April 15 at 11111 Research Blvd., Ste. 230 and Ste. 310, in the Health Plaza connected to Seton Northwest Hospital.

"You really are on the front lines of changing health care," said Greg Hartman, president and CEO of Seton Medical Center Austin and University Medical Center Brackenridge. "This is where health care reform is happening, in these kind of places. This is what it's all about."

Victoria Butler, Lone Star Circle of Care's medical director of pediatrics and quality and safety, said at full capacity, the clinic will be able to see 8,000 patients with 40,000 annual visits. The clinic operates on two floors with OB/GYN, behavioral health and family medicine services.

"Unfortunately the need for quality health care in the entire area is limited, and this provides access in addition to all the other services in the area for people to have high-quality health care, to provide for their needs, for prevention and for other health care services," she said.

This partnership model is one that U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-District 10, whose district covers portions of Northwest and North Austin, said is more effective than a government-driven model. He said he thinks that more of these types of clinics will open in Central Texas because of the innovative business model.

"As we look at Obamacare coming down the pike, fully enforced by 2014, this is sort of an alternative model, innovative approach that can drive down the cost of health care, and at the same time it's treating the indigent and more vulnerable people in our society with primary care and keeping them out of the emergency rooms, like at Seton, where the cost is a lot greater," he said.

Hartman said the partnership with LSCC and the new clinic represents the best way of taking care of people: at the right place, at the right time, for the right cost and with the best outcome. He said that type of care does not always need to happen in an ER or hospital bed.

"This clinic is really sort of the first big sign of this [reform]," Hartman said. "I think you're going to see this throughout the community as we really rethink the health care model. The great thing from Seton's perspective is getting to work with Lone Star Circle of Care. I don't think that I've worked with any other health care organization that is as entrepreneurial as the Lone Star Circle of Care. We really need that in health care."

By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels.



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