Monday, April 12, 2010

LaSalle Clinics Helping Seniors Get Healthcare Coverage

Medicare Advantage helps senior citizens like Carlos and Beatrice Cuellar obtain the specialized medical care they need. LaSalle Medical Associates can help anyone eligible for Medicare sign up for this program. Photo by Carl Dameron

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Seniors and other Medicare recipients who lost specialized benefits such as vision and dental last year can get that coverage back through Medicare Advantage.
“Many of our patients are dually enrolled in both Medicare and Medi-Cal. Last July Medi-Cal dropped senior coverage for vision, dental, podiatry, psychological services and many other forms of health care” explains Susan De Frates a 13-year veteran with LaSalle Medical Associates, now as a patient relation specialist.

“With Medicare Advantage, they get those the benefits back,” she said.

LaSalle began this program in December of 2009 for both seniors and disabled patients, who are the two categories of people eligible for Medicare. Enrollment is growing rapidly.

“Dr. Albert Arteaga,” De Frates says of LaSalle’s founder and President, “has spearheaded our move into greater assistance for the disabled and elderly. He’s always thinking of the patients above all else.”

 “We want to treat all our patients, regardless of age or condition, with courtesy and respect, and provide all the needed medical help if possible,” Dr. Albert Arteaga said.

LaSalle Medical Associates offers this program to all eligible seniors and disabled.

“We are an information center,” said De Frates. “If we don’t offer the services they need, we can find a clinic for them within our network. We can even call and make the appointment for them.”

De Frates and four patient relation specialists serve LaSalle senior citizens at its Mt. Vernon and Hesperia clinics. De Frates heads up the senior program at the Mt. Vernon clinic and Wendy Dubon oversees the program in Hesperia.

LaSalle Medical Associates is the only Independent Practice Association member (IPA) in the Inland Empire that has staff dedicated to helping patients enroll in Medicare Advantage, and one of only a few throughout southern California, according to Augusto Salas, an independent broker with whom LaSalle works to enroll patients in the program.

“People are very happy with the service LaSalle provides,” he said.

About LaSalle Medical Associates
LaSalle’s philosophy is that everyone deserves quality health care, and to be treated by his or her physician with dignity and respect. La Salle Medical Associates clinics welcome low income, elderly and disabled patients. They accept most insurance.

Founded in 1984, LaSalle has 110 employees, and is an Independent Practice Association member serving more than 100 doctors.

LaSalle has four Inland Empire clinics. Two are in San Bernardino at 1505 West 17th Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Avenue, the Fontana facility at 17577 Arrow Boulevard and Hesperia’s at 16455 Main Street.

For more information or to make an appointment in San Bernardino call (909) 510-5918 or (909) 510-5929 or in Hesperia call (760) 947-2161.