When low-income patients are discharged from the hospital, they face a higher risk of poor outcomes and readmission than patients who have adequate resources. Common causes stem from social needs – such as the inability to pay for prescription medications and a lack of nutritious food, adequate housing and transportation. Many of these patients are alone with no support system; some are homeless.
To lessen these risks for vulnerable patients, Providence in Oregon has formed an innovative partnership with Project Access NOW. The organization connects low-income, uninsured people with primary and specialty health care and resources to help them get and stay healthy.
Patient Support Program
Project Access NOW uses a secure web site and online assistance to give Providence caregivers an immediate determination of service eligibility for at-risk patients. The caregivers can print vouchers for patients, providing services such as transportation, car seats and temporary housing.
Services provided through this program are intended to be short-term – typically up to 30 days. By addressing these health-related social needs, Providence aims to ease recovery and reduce the likelihood of readmissions.
Access to affordable pharmaceuticals is a challenge for many people. Either they don't qualify for health insurance, or they can’t afford the out-of-pocket expense. Pharmacy Bridge offers life-saving medications at little or no cost. Co-pays are usually $4 each. Pharmacy Bridge is one of Project Access NOW’s longest-running programs and most-used resources.
Looking forward, Providence and Project Access NOW will continue to pursue new opportunities to meet the health and social needs of the community’s most vulnerable. Together they are exploring solutions to ensure families have stable, consistent access to health care, social services and the resources that create healthy communities.