Twenty local medical clinics will receive free UpScale accessible exam tables to better support people with disabilities in the Inland Empire (I.E.). After applying and participating in the California Department of Health Care Services Physical Accessibility Review Survey (PARS), providers were selected by Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and scheduled for table distribution by the fall.
Receiving clinic locations include: Palm Desert, Corona, Hemet, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, and Indio with clinic types ranging from Adult Day Care Centers, OB/GYN clinics to Urgent Care Centers.
Studies indicate fewer than 10% of Primary Care Clinics in California reported having accessible exam tables, despite one in seven adults having a disability. “Being able to comfortably visit and be examined by your physician is critical to receiving optimal and complete care,” said Carmen Ramirez, IEHP’s disability program manager. “These exam tables provide patients with mobility challenges an opportunity to connect with their physician—with dignity.”
The UpScale accessible exam tables, created by Medical Accessibility LLC, are ADA Compliant and ergonomically designed to enable a full-body exam with both height and weight measurements, important in-office visit elements that are often difficult for persons with disabilities.
“As an Internal Medicine-based clinic, our providers see some of the sickest patients with co-morbidities that challenge many of them in their fullest potential and quality of life,” said Denise E. Grant, ARMC Clinic Operations Supervisor. “Having an accessible exam table in our practice will allow us to better serve our patients who are challenged with obesity, are a fall risk, and/or have conditions that prevent them from standing on a regular scale. It would allow us to provide accessibility that enhances not only quality of care impacting the health of our patients but also contributing to our care team’s ability to collect key population health metrics.”
To further support health equity and the need for accessible, comprehensive exams for residents with disabilities, IEHP also plans to provide comprehensive feedback based on each provider’s PARS response and conduct Culture Competency Trainings for providers who receive accessible exam tables.
The health plan will conduct accessible table distributions annually to increase the number of I.E. clinics that can offer accessible exams, increase access for residents with disabilities, and increase opportunities for better health outcomes.
“Everyone is entitled to a safe and comprehensive medical exam,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP interim chief medical officer. “These exam tables and the pledge to continue this effort make that a reality for so many in our communities. They also serve as an active reminder of the importance of health care equity and meeting our neighbors where they are to deliver optimal and vibrant care that benefits them as individuals.”
Inland Empire Health Plan | Contributed
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