Guaranteeing Access to Care
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 Fiscal Year 2013, the total community benefit associated with Guaranteeing Access to Care was $50.9 million. Honoring its mission and commitment to the community, the hospital participates in government-sponsored programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, HUSKY, CHAMPUS and Tricare. During Fiscal Year 2013, Bridgeport Hospital provided inpatient and outpatient services for 95,439 Medicaid beneficiaries at a total expense of $31.7 million (at cost).
Bridgeport Hospital also offers a sliding scale of discounted fees and free care for eligible patients. During Fiscal Year 2013, the hospital delivered such financial assistance services for at a total expense of $15.6 million (at cost). In addition, the hospital employs an outpatient account advocate who is based in its primary care clinic. This resource is dedicated to assisting patients in the primary care clinic to enroll in public assistance 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 28,600 annually. The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center’s underserved program provided free medical, screening and diagnostic services to over 1,000 uninsured and underinsured women during the year.
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 128 patients in the community in Fiscal Year 2013, achieving an out-of-pocket cost savings for these patients of nearly $1.3 million. In Fiscal Year 2013 over 185 patients received free oral medications and self-injections through the care coordination program with Bridgeport Hospital and Bridgeport Pharmacy. This program provided assistance to uninsured and underinsured patients with prescriptions through Bridgeport Pharmacy. The estimated value of the drugs was $51,551.
Dispensary of Hope
Through the Primary Care Action Group, Bridgeport Hospital also continued to refer uninsured and low income residents in the Greater Bridgeport area to the Dispensary of Hope. The Dispensary, which opened in 2011, is an initiative developed by the Primary Care Action Group that provides prescription medications at no cost. As part of its ongoing commitment and support, the hospital also donates unused medications to the Dispensary of Hope.