Parents juggling multiple medical appointments for a child seeing several subspecialists get hit with needs of other family members, job demands and, for some, the challenges of making a lengthy trip to Jackson if home is hours away.
Doctors have no-show appointment rates as high as 25 percent, taking up time in which other patients could be seen.
Meanwhile, children with medically complex conditions wind up in the emergency room for worsened conditions that could have been treated earlier in an office visit or for maladies such as eczema that aren't serious and could be treated in a clinic.
A new Children's of Mississippi clinic is trying to solve these problems by assisting families with children who have either three or more major diseases or disabilities or three or more subspecialists on their care team.
Opened June 13, the Complex Care Clinic is housed at the Jackson Medical Mall, said Dr. Sara Weisenberger, who moved to the clinic from her current practice at the Children's North Clinic off I-55 in northeast Jackson. A second pediatrician will be hired for the new clinic, and it will also be staffed with a social worker and a nutritionist. Adding a psychologist to the staff is a later goal, and UMMC's telehealth program will help with outreach.
“We are using a model that's loosely based on studies on coordinated care and case management that have been published nationally,” Weisenberger said.