Med Assist is an ongoing mission program offered by Mercy Health Springfield that enables low income individuals struggling with health concerns to receive prescription medications and medical treatment support in Clark and Champaign Counties; thus eliminating the need to put other basic needs above one’s own health. This support allows patients to manage their health and their chronic conditions and to live a healthier life. Med Assist promotes individual health management and supports the care and treatment plans initiated by local physicians. Med Assist helps prevent emergency department visits and hospital admissions.
Despite having some health coverage, many individuals still cannot afford to fill all or even some of these prescriptions. Co-pays force people to make difficult choices when allocating resources among food, rent, utilities, transportation, child care, house payments, and health. Patients may skip doses, cut pills in half, or only fill some prescriptions. These habits make treating or controlling one’s medical condition difficult or impossible even though many chronic conditions can be well managed with regular medication. While more individuals currently have some level of medial insurance, Med Assist understands that the number of uninsured individuals could rise rapidly depending on federal and state legislation. Med Assist is preparing for a possible increase in the number of patients seeking medication and medical treatment support assistance.
According to the 2015 Community Health Assessment in Champaign County, 13% of adults rated their health as fair to poor and 13.1% had no health care coverage. In the Clark County 2015 Community Health Assessment 15% of adults rated their health as fair to poor and 14.6% had no health care coverage. The Clark County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) specifically seeks to decrease the number of readmission among Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and to increase the number of patients completing diabetes education. CHF and other chronic health concerns such as high blood pressure and diabetes can be well managed or treated with medications. With these medications, patients control their conditions and their symptoms and have a significantly reduced chance of returning to the Emergency Department or of being admitted to the hospital for that condition. Fewer emergency trips and admissions result in a healthier community and lower healthcare costs. Med Assist’s client surveys, in both Clark and Champaign Counties, revealed that 83% of clients did not require another emergency department visit or hospitalization related to the condition for which they received assistance. 93% of the clients stated that their overall health had improved or remained stable since they began taking their medications on a regular basis.
United Way is proud to fund an agency that is making such an impact in the communities of Clark and Champaign Counties. With this funding Med Assist distributes medication and medical treatment support vouchers to clients. Recipients present the vouchers at local participating pharmacies to obtain their medication and/or supplies with no out-of-pocket costs. Medical supplies and equipment may include breathing machines, oxygen, crutches, braces, slings, nutritional supplements, and diabetic supplies. With an average cost of $100, each voucher can cover multiple items. If you’re interested to learn more about Mercy Health Med Assist call today at 937-390-5513.