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What You Should Know About FHCGA’s COVID-19 Testing

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Should I be tested?

If you are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, body aches, loss of taste, or diarrhea please call us for information about our COVID-19 testing.

The earlier you know, the quicker you can get care to help your family and community stay safe.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.

How do I get tested?

If you have any one of the symptoms listed above, you will be considered for testing.

Call our Coronavirus Patient Info Line at 1-800-935-6721 to be pre-screened. If you meet testing criteria, you will be scheduled at our drive through testing location.

You must receive a confirmed COVID-19 testing appointment.

Which test will I receive?

The standard COVID-19 lab testing – nasal (nose) swab specimen. Testing is safe and easy.

What and where is your drive-thru or walk-up testing site?

For drive-thru: Testing minimizes your contact. Your windows remain up until you reach the testing personnel. Once there, you place your window in the halfway down position for our trained medical staff to perform the test. Please wear a mask or face covering, if available.

For walk-up: You will identify yourself at check-in & a medical provider will perform the test.

Testing is performed at our Main Center, 868 York Avenue, SW, Atlanta, GA, location only. Existing patients, regardless of the center location you normally visit, are tested at this site.

How do I get my test results?

Test results typically take 2-5 business days, depending on the lab. One of our medical providers will contact you to review or schedule a telehealth visit.

Telehealth visits are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurances; visits are available even if you don’t have insurance or if your insurance does not cover the cost. We will not charge a co-pay or require that you meet your deductible for using a telehealth visit to provide your COVID-19 lab results.

How much does FHCGA’s COVID-19 test cost?

It is FREE. If you have health insurance, the lab might bill your insurance to cover their lab fees. However, you will not be charged a co-pay or have to meet a required deductible.

MAKING TELEHEALTH EASY FOR PATIENTS MAY NOT BE AS EASY AS IT SEEMS

Friday, April 10th, 2020

April 10, 2020

Atlanta, Georgia –The Family Health Centers of Georgia, Inc. (FHCGA), a federally qualified health center, wants to make sure telehealth is made user friendly for socio-economically and medically underserved populations.

While telehealth is being promoted as a way to talk to your doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know our communities need people support to make the transition.  As FHCGA launched its telehealth service, resources were used to have dedicated staff to assist patients who may not be familiar with technical buzzwords (web enabled, browser, webcam, URL) or processes.

Our goal is to help connect our existing and new patients to the medical care they need during this time.  Of the 21,000 patients we served in 2019, approximately 2000 were over the age of 60; and 20,538 provided documentable income at 100%, or greater, below the federal poverty level; which often results in them owning cellphones or computers that are less telehealth technology friendly. In addition, our patients want to know it’s safe for them to submit information over the internet and that their telehealth visits are not being recorded.

For 45 years FHCGA has provided primary healthcare services to communities in the metropolitan Atlanta service areas, operating center locations in Georgia’s Fulton, Cobb, Clayton, and Douglas Counties.  We have learned that everyone cannot avoid coming to the doctor’s office.

The answer is not as easy as telling our patients to make a telehealth visit, our offices are closed.  Our patient population is at a greater risk of experiencing emergency medical needs related to hypertension, diabetes and uncontrolled asthma.  “We don’t want to overburden the emergency room with patients who don’t need to be there because we can take care of them,” Dr. Michael W. Brooks, FHCGA’s President & CEO, said. 

As FHCGA works to help patients understand telehealth, the message to those with conditions like diabetes or asthma, is to not miss necessary appointments and that our staff is making sure all patients stay safe upon arrival. “When you say shelter in place, not to get in large crowds, they think when they go to the doctor’s office, they’re going to be sitting around sick people,” Brooks said. “So they just don’t come.”https://youtu.be/5eRtbtYpY0Y.  Our office locations in Cobb and Fulton Counties remain open Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

FHCGA provided links via text messages and emails for patients to connect to our Patient Portal https://bit.ly/2JSrHZ8. However, the most important information we provided was our Patient Telehealth Appointment Line:  404-260-1524 which connects patients to support staff who make sure they understand their telehealth visit is HIPAA compliant, and technical support to help them connect.  We want to make telehealth visits accessible and easier for all.

Contact Director of Marketing

M. Bledsoe

[email protected] | fhcga.org

NON-PROFIT COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER IN ATLANTA REMAINS OPEN FOR PATIENTS WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

April 7, 2020

Atlanta, Georgia – For 45 years, The Family Health Centers of Georgia, Inc. (FHCGA), a federally qualified health center, has served on the front line when it comes to caring for patients who are uninsured or underinsured. We are committed to using all our resources to make sure no one is left behind during COVID-19 pandemic.  During this pandemic when people are faced with the fear of catching COVID-19, and the uncertainty of their future employment and health insurance, FHCGA continues to put the needs of patients and community first.

We know how important it is that our patients, 87% of whom are African American and 32% are uninsured, receive care during these critical times. “It’s alarming the high percentage of African Americans nationwide that are dying from COVID-19.  The communities we serve in the metro Atlanta area are disproportionately at a higher risk of death from COVID-19 infection due to pre-existing chronic conditions, lack of access to care and living in high density areas where social distancing is more challenging,” states Dr. Michael W. Brooks, President & CEO. 

FHCGA is following CDC recommendations for protecting our patients, visitors and staff. We increased our cleaning measures and use social distancing in all locations. FHCGA screens everyone, including staff, every day to assist with early detection of COVID-19 symptoms and to help direct people to appropriate care, if needed.

No matter how challenging it is for us financially or taxing on our staff, our doors remain open to serve as the front line of screening for COVID-19 symptoms and for patients to receive the primary medical care they need.

The Family Health Center at West End (Fulton County)

868 York Avenue, SW | Atlanta, GA 30310

The Family Health Center at Cobb (Cobb County)

805 Campbell Hill Street | Marietta, GA 30060

We want the communities we serve to know we are still here for them.  Anyone who needs care can call 404.752.1400 to schedule an appointment or telehealth visit. To help us achieve social distancing, as recommended by the CDC, we ask that patients please limit the number of non-patient visitors that come with them to one.

Contact Director of Marketing

M. Bledsoe

[email protected] | fhcga.org

The Family Health Centers of Georgia, Inc. has partnered with American Heart Association to pilot Target: BP a program designed to empower underserved patients to manage their blood pressure.

Friday, May 18th, 2018

The primary goal of Target: BP is to improve health in minority and economically disadvantaged populations by reducing high blood pressure. Target: BP provides FHCGA with tools to incorporate best practices in high blood pressure reduction into daily operations, ensuring that all patients are treated using current, science-recommended best practices.

Target: BP will use The M.A.P. Framework to help improve health outcomes for patients. The M.A.P. Framework represents: Measuring Accurately every time a blood pressure is taken; Acting Rapidly to guide treatment and follow-up until blood pressure is under control; and Partnering with Patients, Families & Communities to engage patients in their health and increase adherence to care plans. This framework is in alignment with FHCGA’s patient centered model of care.