Alaska Regional Hospital is planning to open a healthcare clinic in Mountain View by the end of year. There aren’t any primary care services in the neighborhood currently. That’s forcing residents to use Alaska Regional’s emergency room for routine care, according to Medicaid data from the state Department of Health and Social Services. That costs the hospital in uncompensated care and it costs the state in unnecessary Medicaid payments.
When Julie Taylor became CEO of Alaska Regional a year ago, the board was already talking about opening a Mountain View clinic. Taylor says it was immediately obvious to her that there was a need.
“If we’re looking at how we’re going to be using healthcare dollars effectively finding ways to reach populations to treat them closer to home at the right level of care is a better use of those funds,” Taylor said.
Neighborhood residents have been asking for better access to primary care for years. In 2002, the Anchorage Community Land Trust hosted a summit where the need for local health services was a clear priority.
Kirk Rose is executive director of the land trust. He says Alaska Regional has responded in a big way and residents are thrilled.
“We’ve been working on it for it, patience is a virtue- good things come to those who wait, but we’ve been very tough and staunch about fighting for a health presence in the neighborhood so we’re hoping this is a really nice win in that in enhances quality of life for the people that live here,” Rose said.
Taylor says the clinic will be large enough to offer about 3,000 patient visits a year.