2017 Annual Report: Improving Access to Care
Serving the Growing Health Care Need
In 2016, MaineHealth and our member organizations provided more than $400 million in uncompensated programs and services to our communities, including support for professional education and training, community health services and support, research, and more than $41 million in charity care.
The value the MaineHealth system brings to our communities is much more than the financial investment we make, though. Through the strong partnerships we have developed across our integrated system of care, together with those we have forged in our communities, we continue to serve the growing healthcare needs of our region.
Our commitment to improving population health guides our significant and longtime investment in innovative programs like MedAccess, a statewide program that helps Maine people get the medications they need to get healthy and stay healthy.
Making Medications Affordable
MedAccess helps anyone who has trouble affording their medications apply for free medication through pharmaceutical companies, find less expensive generic alternatives, price-check medications at different pharmacies and find co-pay funding assistance. Since 2005, MedAccess has connected Maine people to over $142 million in medications.
When Kathleen Porter realized she couldn’t afford the insulin she needs to manage her Type 1 diabetes, she was devastated. “What bills can I skip this month to buy my insulin?” she wondered.
After calling her local state representative to ask for help, she was referred to Dianna White, prescription assistance case manager for MedAccess based at Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, the public health affiliate of Franklin Community Health Network.
Dianna worked with Kathleen to determine whether she would qualify for any assistance from the pharmaceutical company. Since she already had a health insurance plan through the Marketplace, she did not qualify for free medication. However, Dianna was able to get her a coupon for a free trial of her insulin pens. Kathleen was relieved.
Knowing they needed to identify a longer-term solution, Dianna contacted Kathleen’s insurance company to clarify the amount of her deductible and copay. She discovered that the policy had a Chronic Illness Support Program, which meant the deductible would be waived on her diabetic medications if she used their mail order pharmacy. Dianna helped Kathleen contact the mail order pharmacy and got an account set up for her.
“Kathleen left my office feeling like such a load had been lifted from her shoulders,” said Dianna. “Now she can concentrate on other aspects of her life.”