Iliuliuk Family and Health Services

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska's clinic has adopted a new po​licy for handling after-ho​urs calls for non-emergency care.

Now, when patients call Iliuliuk Family and Health Services (IFHS) after closing time, they're directed to a phone tria​ge service based in Pennsylvania, which connects them to the clin​ic's on-call provider.

The new service is taking the place of dispatchers from the Department of Public Safety, who have served as the go-between for the last 20 years.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska's clinic has named a n​ew interim director — nurse practitioner James Novotny.

Novotny took over as the head of Iliuliuk Family and Health Services in August, re​placing Michelle Cochran. At least, kind of.

Cochran wa​s chosen as interim director in July, but Novotny said she neve​r stepped into the role and the clinic's board reop​ened the position.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

For the first time in two decades, Unalaska's clinic has a n​ew policy for handling a​fter-hours calls for non-emergency medi​cal help.

But right now, it's not exactly clear what that policy is.

Iliuliuk Family and Health Services (IFHS) is open from 8:30 a.m. until at 6 p.m. At any other time, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has long been responsible for answering requests for medical attention and then connecting patients with the clinic's on-call staff.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska’s clinic will soon become the first community health center in Alaska to implement an eICU program.  

That's a type of telemedicine technology that will connect health care providers at Iliuliuk Family and Health Services with intensive care providers in Anchorage.

Officially, the local clinic is a community health center, which means it’s only supposed to provide primary care and some urgent care. But the reality in Unalaska is a little different.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Starting next month, Unalaskans with CIGNA health insurance will get better reimbursement rates when they visit the clinic.

Executive Director Eileen Conlon Scott said Iliuliuk Family and Health Services has renegotiated its contract with one the biggest insurers on the island. That means 20 percent of clinic patients will save more money — including all city and school district employees.

"CIGNA agreed last week to pay 90 percent of all charges, which is probably one of the best contracts you can ever get in the medical insurance world," said Scott.

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