Senator Murkowski, Senator Begich and Mayor Dan Sullivan tour the clinic.

Published on Monday, 01 August 2011 15:52

Sen. Murkowski, Kirsten Gurley and Dr. George Ryneer, and Murkowski Aide.Sen. Murkowski and Ak Medicare Clinic Manager Kirsten Gurley discuss the services available in the clinic.Mayor Sullivan congratulates Dr. Ryneer and Kirsten Gurley.Sen. Begich tours the clinic guided by office manager Kirsten Gurley.


Anchorage patients welcome another Medicare-only clinic

Published on Monday, 06 June 2011 23:47

New medical centers find ways to treat elderly.
Anchorage Daily News
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In South Anchorage, a new kind of medical center is trying to make it financially based on payments from Medicare — the federal health insurance for people 65 and older, that many doctors shun.

Most primary care doctors in Anchorage won’t take new Medicare patients because they say the reimbursement rates are set too low, and they lose money.

But at the recently opened Alaska Medicare Clinic, on the Old Seward Highway near O’Malley Road, you have to have a Medicare card to get in. Or be nearly old enough to get one.

The clinic intends to hold down costs by relying on teams of registered nurses and medical aides to spend more time with patients, reserving final decisions for the one doctor, Dr. Bob Thomas. When the clinic is at capacity, the idea is Dr. Thomas will see 45 patients a day — at least double the number most primary care doctors see.

“It’s this way of doing things that we think will allow the clinic to work on Medicare,” said Dr. George Rhyneer, a retired cardiologist who spearheaded creation of the clinic. The clinic is a nonprofit organization.

Healthcare Options Expanding for Medicare, Low-Income

Published on Friday, 03 June 2011 23:48

By Rebecca Palsha
Channel 2 News
4:43 p.m. AKDT, June 3, 2011

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Lawmakers and healthcare advocates celebrated two major projects Friday that they say will help Medicare and low-income families throughout the state.

In South Anchorage, the Alaska Medicare Clinic is now accepting new patients. It’s a non-profit primary care doctor’s office designed for Medicare patients.

Creators of the program say they’ll be able to stay in the black by being more efficient.

“By specializing in a certain kinds of individuals with certain kinds of medical problems with certain kind of insurance like Medicare,” said Dr. George Rhyneer, “we can develop efficiencies of the way we do things, the way we treat the patients, the way we evaluate the patient the way the doctor and nurses interact with the patient so it can be done more efficiently.”

The facility was built with the help of about a million dollars from the state.

The goal is to see about 50 patients a day.