Clay County Collaborative
Health safety nets play a critical role in providing access and quality healthcare for the uninsured and underinsured in America. A health care safety net is defined as any provider that organizes and delivers a significant level of health care and other services to the uninsured, Medicaid and other vulnerable patients. Health care safety net services are traditionally delivered by community heath clinics, county health departments, federally qualified health centers, behavioral health clinics, and community hospitals.
Northeast Florida is not immune from the safety net challenges. With over 1 million people living, working and playing in the region, our hospitals, clinics, county health departments and health care advocates work hard to ensure quality health care access for North Florida’s uninsured. Northeast Florida has long been heralded for their state-of-the-art health care system(s) and medical advancements. With that said, it was not surprising when Northeast Florida ranked fairly high among their respective peer counties for Health Care Delivery System in the recent county health ranking analysis conducted by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Furthermore, in a recent 2007 data release from the US. Census, Florida‘s uninsured rate of 24.2 was the third highest in the country. However, the rate of the uninsured in the Northeast Florida counties was lower than the state average with Clay County being the highest at 22%. To further the complexity of the health care environment in Northeast Florida, three of the four Medicaid Reform Pilot counties are located in Northeast Florida: Baker, Clay and Duval. With nearly 75% of the residents covered with some form of health insurance, the region is still struggling to assure access to these basic points of health care services and to the necessary specialized care to the 25% who do not currently have health insurance.