A year and a half ago, a local safety-net clinic underwent one of the most significant changes in its more than four decades of serving the metropolitan area: It went from a purely free provider to one that also accepted paying patients covered by insurance.
Known for years as the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, the organization became the Kansas City CARE Clinic to reflect that its donation-based operation had evolved to a fee-based, sliding-scale system with a minimum payment of $10.
This Friday is National HIV Testing Day, first created almost 20 years ago to encourage members of the public to learn their HIV status. Since then, what it means to be HIV-positive has changed dramatically.
Individuals diagnosed as positive today can expect to live as long as they would without the virus, as long as they receive treatment.
But many HIV patients, especially in African American communities, don't receive the treatment they need, and health advocates blame that on the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.
The Kansas City Free Health Clinic’s main location at 3515 Broadway will soon don a new sign out front: Kansas City CARE Clinic. The clinic adopted the name as it prepares for changes to its business model. CARE stands for Care, Access, Research and Education, which leaders say better reflects the clinic's role.
Armed with more than 100 staff members and 1,000 volunteers, the bustling Kansas City Free Health Clinic in midtown is one of the largest free health clinics in the country, treating upward of 15,000 patients a year. “KC Free,” as it’s commonly called, doesn’t charge fees or bill patients for care. It only sees people who are uninsured.