Bridgeport Hospital recognizes that some patients may be uninsured, not have adequate health insurance or otherwise lack the resources to pay for health care. In FY 2012, the total community benefit associated with Guaranteeing Access to Care was $39.4 million. Honoring its mission and its commitment to the community, the Hospital participates in government-sponsored programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, HUSKY, CHAMPUS and Tricare. During FY 2012, Bridgeport Hospital provided services for 94,934 Medicaid beneficiaries at a total expense of $27.7 million (at cost). Bridgeport Hospital also offers a sliding scale of discounted fees and free care for eligible patients. During FY 2012, the Hospital delivered such financial assistance services for at a total expense of $8.9 million (at cost).
The Hospital provides an outpatient account advocate based in its primary care clinic. This resource is dedicated to assisting patients in the primary care clinic to enroll in public programs. Last year, over 150 individuals were assisted with all aspects of the enrollment process including pre-screening and application review. The Hospital also continued to fund an onsite State Department of Social Services worker to assist patients to apply for state health insurance programs.
Bridgeport Hospital also guarantees access to care by providing clinical programs despite a financial loss so significant that negative margins remain after removing the effects of free care, bad debt and under-reimbursed Medicaid. Subsidized health services include outpatient psychiatric programs for children and adolescents and the Primary Care Clinic. Total visits for these essential services by individuals seeking diagnosis, treatment and preventive care are over 36,000 annually.
Prescription Assistance – The Hospital’s Community Assistance Program assists uninsured and underserved patients to obtain expensive prescription medication and therapies for a variety of conditions through existing pharmaceutical assistance programs. A full-time dedicated coordinator for the program assisted 62 patients in the community in FY 2012, achieving an out-of-pocket cost savings for these patients of nearly $526,000. The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center’s underserved program provided free medical, screening and diagnostic services to over 700 uninsured and underinsured women during the year.
Dispensary of Hope – As a testament to the unique collaboration of the Primary Care Action Group (PCAG), Bridgeport Hospital and St. Vincent’s Medical Center together received the Community Service Award from the Connecticut Hospital Association and Connecticut Department of Health for the Dispensary of Hope, a PCAG initiative that provides prescription medications at no cost to uninsured and low-income residents of Greater Bridgeport. The Dispensary has helped more than 700 patients and provided $200,000 in medications since its launch in March 2011.