Innovative Financial Approaches to Support Innovative Health Care Delivery
Imagine: needing primary care services, but being told that you must wait days, weeks, or even months to schedule an appointment with your provider; you identify a need for supportive behavioral health services or support groups but are unable to find any; a family member struggling with opioid dependency or substance abuse and having nowhere to turn; wanting complementary services or traditional healing services and being referred to outside providers who don’t know you or your family and having to pay out-of-pocket; or, struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and having no resources or community to turn to. At Southcentral Foundation, none of this is true. In fact, it is the opposite.
Southcentral Foundation is committed to providing high-quality services, supporting family wellness, and embracing shared responsibility. To support these corporate goals, SCF has diversified its funding sources to include private insurance, private and public grants, Medicaid and Medicare, and other third-party payers. If SCF relied purely on funding from Indian Health Services and had not diversified the funding stream, roughly half of all services provided by SCF would not exist.
IHS is the primary institution through which the federal government provides health services to Alaska Native and American Indian people; it is not an insurance program, but a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. IHS was created as a result of government-to-government treaties between the sovereign nations of the Alaska Native and American Indian people and the U.S. Government, and it is responsible for providing federal health services for Alaska Native and American Indian people.
Through increased third-party revenue funding customer-owners have same day access to primary care, and, primary care is not just a single provider, it is an entire integrated care team. The team includes a; provider, case manager, case manager support, certified medical assistant, nurse midwife, pharmacist, behavioral health consultant, dietitian, and psychiatrist. SCF has improved primary care capabilities and introduced more treatment options for chronic pain, behavioral health, outpatient care, medication-assisted treatment for addictions, pediatric specialists, traditional healing services, complementary medicine, and more. Also, programs that focus on reducing domestic violence, suicide, and PTSD, such as, Family Wellness Warriors Initiative and the Soldier’s Heart program would likely not exist without SCF’s diversified approach to funding.
To support improved capabilities, SCF has used its diversified funding to invest in service expansions and program enhancements that improve the health of the Native Community. Recently, service expansion encompasses building and renovating structures to meet the health care needs: Benteh Nuutah Valley Native Primary Care Center; C’eyiits’ Hwnax Life House Community Health Center; Nuka Learning and Wellness Center; upgrading and remodeling various program spaces and clinics; Anchorage Native Primary Care 2 North, and the Dr. Katherine and Dr. Kevin Gottlieb Building. Almost all buildings that SCF has built or purchased and currently provide services out of have been acquired using primarily third-party revenues.
Senior leadership accomplishes financial sustainability by considering SCF funding and accountability at a total cost level, rather than an individual program level. SCF is constantly reviewing the use of its financial resources to ensure the organization is as efficient as possible. SCF looks forward to continuing to provide world class services and expanding to meet the health care needs of customer-owners by maintaining a strong sense of fiscal responsibility as we continue to walk together on this path toward whole person and community wellness.