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Caring 4 PBC

In The Press:

Doctors call for more funding for uninsured

Safety net groups reeling after governor’s veto

Editorial: Act now to stop damage to local health care ‘quilt’

Florida Weekly: County Medical Society, clinics put out urgent call for help for uninsured


Caring 4 Palm Beach County: Help Project Access Today!

Project Access logo

Palm Beach County has a big problem with uninsured care.

This issue impacts all of us. We all have to work together to address it.

Caring 4 Palm Beach County (#Caring4PBC) is a new campaign to take care of the medical needs of the poor and uninsured on our community. Participating organizations include the free and charitable clinics, (Caridad Center in Boynton Beach, My Clinic in Jupiter, Community Health Center of West Palm Beach, and PBC Medical Society’s Project Access)

Donate now to help by clicking here.

Provide resources today by calling Lauren Stoops at 561-433-3940 (ext. 26)

The issue:

Reports indicate that 260,000 people in Palm Beach County have no medical insurance. They represent a cross-section of our population — from undocumented workers to young people too sick to work to families who have yet to recover from a weak economy. They are our neighbors, friends and family. The uninsured are not always who you think they are.

Treating the poor and uninsured is only going to get harder. That’s because:

1) There is going to be no Medicaid expansion in Florida in the near future.
2) There have been no significant appropriations to charitable clinics locally and statewide.
3) There’s going to be a big reduction in hospital payment programs for caring for poor patients (programs known as LIP, low-income pool).

Broader implications:

If the funding problems aren’t addressed, they will have significant implications for all residents and all taxpayers of Palm Beach County. We’ll all potentially be paying more in our medical bills and be required to pay more in local taxes to cover indigent care.

Why is that? Many of the uninsured are going to hospitals for basic primary medical conditions or for emergency medical conditions that have gone untreated for a long time. As a result, hospitals can’t absorb all those costs because of cuts in public funding — and so, they’ll pass on those costs to people with insurance and to taxpayers. This will also translate into longer wait times in emergency departments.

This isn’t fair to anyone.

Local solutions:

There is a lot all of us can do to address the issue of providing access to care for the poor and uninsured.

Solution 1) Increase awareness: Increase public awareness of the medical services already in existence for the poor and uninsured in Palm Beach County. There are 10 medical and dental clinics fully capable of taking in many more patients. They are located throughout Palm Beach County, from Delray Beach to Belle Glade to Riviera Beach to Jupiter.

Solution 2) Recruiting more volunteer services and innovative support: Get more physicians, hospitals, and ancillary facilities (labs, imaging centers, etc.) involved in providing donated care. Through PBCMS’s Project Access, more than 650 physicians and providers have served more than 8,000 uninsured/underinsured people with medical needs in recent years. That’s great…but we can do even better. We need to promote the benefits to donating care for physicians and facilities: CMEs and complete control of the number of patients they are willing to accept. Let’s also get more hospitals, medical groups and clinics to promote more health prevention events, such as sponsoring “Colonoscopy Day” where free screenings and care could be provided to reduce illness and emergency visits.

Solution 3) Funding support: Encourage individuals and small businesses to donate funds and resources to charitable care clinics of their choice across Palm Beach County. These contributions would cover the cost of preventive, diagnostic, and prescription services that are set to or have been wiped out by legislative actions in recent months.

Solution 4) Advocacy: Call on Palm Beach County legislators to reinstate the funding taken away from charitable clinics. Specifically: a $9.5 million grant shared by more than 80 charitable clinics statewide.

Taking action – TODAY:

Caring 4 Palm Beach County (#Caring4PBC) is aimed at saving lives by providing quality care to those who can’t afford it.

All of us are deeply impacted by issues related to indigent care.

We are all in this together. So let’s find solutions…together. It’s the right thing to do for Palm Beach County.

Donate today here.

Provide resources today by calling Lauren Stoops at 561-433-3940 (ext. 26)

The Doctor’s Company flagship publication, The Doctor’s Advocate, is a quarterly newsletter that contains timely information on patient safety topics, legislative updates, and the latest industry and company news.

The Doctor’s Advocate 2nd Quarter 2015


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