Serving migratory and seasonal agricultural workers brings a set of risks that other patient groups might not present. Migrant Clinicians Network’s Risk Management Toolkit gives health centers guidance on some of the most critical areas of risk in serving this underserved population. View the resources at http://www.migrantclinician.org/toolsource/475/risk-management/index.html. Here is each of the resources, with a short introduction to each one.
- Behavioral Health Care for Mobile Populations: In recognition of the importance of behavioral health as a component of quality health care delivery, most health centers provide these services to their patient population. These are services that are difficult for many migrant health centers to provide onsite so they may be contracted to outside providers. Behavioral health services may include, but are not limited to, counseling for mental health issues (e.g., depression, anxiety) and substance abuse (e.g., alcohol, recreational drugs).
- Care for Undocumented Patients: Unlike providers of many other federally-funded services and benefits, health centers are permitted to serve undocumented patients, and are not required to ask about a patient’s immigration status. Health centers need to ensure that their policies protect patient privacy while complying with applicable laws on collection and disclosure of patient information.
- Incident Report: The purpose and instructions for such incident reporting accompanies an example incident report form.
- Off-Site Care: In order to meet the needs of special populations such as migratory agricultural workers, health centers often use non-traditional delivery methods to provide health care. This resource dives into the risk management of care at a site other than a brick-and-mortar clinic.
- Referrals to Specialty Care: Health centers can reduce their liability for lawsuits by ensuring they are eligible for coverage by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which offers protection akin to medical malpractice insurance to federally funded health center program grantees. Since health centers refer patients to medically necessary specialty care services that are not within their capacity to provide, it is important to be consider the health center’s coverage and potential exposure in the event that problems arise connected to the referral.
These resources are just a few of the hundreds of tools and resources available on our website, www.migrantclinician.org.
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