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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: community health needs assessment findings could prove useful

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 19, 2012 1:28 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, September 20:

doctor-and-man.jpgAs most people are aware, there are many changes coming to healthcare as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented within the next two years.

One of the ACA's requirements is that non-profit hospitals conduct a community health needs assessment every three years.  The assessment is designed to "evaluate the existing healthcare landscape" according to a release.

Three Central Pennsylvania healthcare organizations just completed an assessment for this area.  Holy Spirit Health System, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System collaborated for the report.

In general terms, what the assessment found is that the region "needs additional information and services that promote healthy lifestyles and make health education and healthcare easier to access."

The assessment also found that downtown Harrisburg has one of the highest rates of uninsured residents in the state and that children in Dauphin, Lebanon, and Perry Counties were above the state rate of obesity.

Appearing on Thursday's Radio Smart Talk to discuss the assessment findings are Barbara Terry, Vice President for Mission Effectiveness with PinnacleHealth and Judy Dillon, Community Outreach Coordinator at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Listen to the program:

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-20 08:57

    Email From Stephanie
    Access to care is a huge barrier in central PA. Even as the state is cutting people off Medicaid as a matter of policy, people who have Medicaid have serious difficulty getting access to providers who will take Medicaid. for certain specialities, like dental and dermatology, the situation is even worse. People simply cannot get the care they need because they are not adequately insured, and that's just embarrassing. People shouldn't have to choose between food and medical care.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-20 08:58

    Email from Greg
    What was discovered during the assessment about [Mental Health and Substance Abuse]?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-20 08:59

    Email from Donna

    What is the panelists opinion on the ruling requiring posting calorie counts on fast food restaurants?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-20 08:59

    Email from Debbie
    My church – CrossPoint Church – has a food pantry which distributes food twice a month to people in a three-zip code area. We also provide lunch prior to the food distribution. One problem that we have discussed is the fact that most of the products that we purchase from the Central PA Food Bank to distribute to our friends are either canned or boxed, hence a lot of sodium and carbohydrates – not a good basis for healthy eating. We are able to get a limited quantity of fresh produce from the Food Bank and are excited that the facility is also expanding and will be offering a larger supply of fresh produce in the future. It is so important to offer fresh fruits and vegetables and to give suggestions on how to use them in recipes for more healthy eating. We also offer fresh fruit at our pre-pantry lunch. We hope to be able to provide more fruit and vegetable offerings soon and may even try to prepare some of them for tasting at our these lunches to encourage our friends to select more fruits and veggies when they go to our food pantry.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-20 09:03

    Email from Kathy

    Expanding Medicaid is only half the solution to the population without or unable to afford insurance.

    Making it attractive/profitable (?) to get providers to accept this coverage is the other half. Or a mandate that all providers must accept at least a certain percentage of patients on medical assistance.

    A VERY big problem. It seems wrong for those in the medical profession to pick and choose who they serve based on whether they have medical assistance or not. I don't know much about the system; however it would seem reasonable to require all physicians to accept ALL forms of insurance. Otherwise, it's just plain unethical in my opinion.

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