With health care being one of the most pressing concerns throughout the last decade, women’s health has especially gained the attention of many as coverage continually changes, and certain types of care are at risk. Aware of a lack of availability for many services on the East End, East Hampton Family Medicine medical director Dr. George Dempsey expanded his practice to offer home visits and a full scope of women’s health care. To achieve this, he brought on certified nurse and midwife Julie Chachere and certified hospice and palliative nurse practitioner Diane Schade in 2017. Together, the pair have been filling a need for women’s health care and palliative care in the Hamptons.
Holding a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University, Chachere has worked for local medical offices, and also worked as a research analyst in maternal and child health in England for several years. At East Hampton Family Medicine, she has been able to provide annual women’s wellness exams, evaluation and treatment of gynecologic problems, adolescent gynecology, contraception and family planning services, perimenopausal and menopausal care, preventive care, and more.
“Patients have been extremely enthusiastic about being able to have their women’s health needs met within the practice under the same roof,” Chachere says. “By participating in the Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County we are also able to offer free breast, cervical and colorectal screening for uninsured women 40 years or older.”
Offering primary care for women at any stage in life, Chachere provides personalized, holistic, and comprehensive care for women, and aims to empower them to take charge of their health and wellbeing. She says listening is one of the vital parts of her job, as well as providing her patients with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. Chachere says at East Hampton Family Medicine she offers patients the time and space they need to discuss their personal health concerns in a non-judgmental, culturally sensitive and supportive atmosphere.
Home care is also a newer service to the practice, and one that has strong benefits for those in need. “Dr. George Dempsey and I have started a home care program offering good old-fashioned house calls to any patients who would have difficulty making it into the office,” says Schade, citing illness, age, transportation, or disability as reasons patients may not be able to visit the office. “Many of the patients that I see previously had no other options for healthcare other than emergency services and hospitalization.”
Schade, has worked on Long Island for more than a decade, specializing in hospice and palliative care. With East Hampton Family Medicine’s home care services, laboratory and diagnostic tests can be done in home, and can still allow the physician to treat and follow patients on a regular basis. There are also available resources for physical therapy and other services at home, which are currently all covered by Medicare. However, there are still some concerns as the health care and insurance industry continues to change.
“Rising copay and deductibles are putting a harsh halt to the average person’s decisions to freely pursue their health care needs,” Dempsey says. “Home care patients under Medicare do not feel the threat of privatization. So far their financial responsibility is low but getting affordable nonmedical care is a big concern.”
Changes in coverage have resulted frustration among other patients as well, Chachere says. There’s a lack of continuity of care that changes in health care, and OB/GYN practices often stop accepting a patient’s health insurance or patients are being offered new health insurance that does not offer gynecology services within close proximity. The practice now hopes to counter some of these concerns with the expansion of their services.
“By offering comprehensive primary care, including full scope women’s health services East Hampton Family Medicine is able to provide continuity of care, which numerous studies have shown to give patients a greater sense of control over their health and improved health outcomes,” she says.
East Hampton Family Medicine is located at 200 Pantigo Place, Suite I, East Hampton. Patients in need of home care can learn more by calling 631.324.9200.