Neighborhood Health’s Medication Assistance Program Helps Thousands of Patients Each Year
August 10, 2021
Few things are more critical to treating an illness than prescription medicines. Fortunately, there are effective medications today to help treat and stabilize most illnesses and chronic conditions. But most prescription medications are expensive, and they are beyond the reach of many of our uninsured and underinsured patients. Our low-income patients simply cannot afford the medications that are necessary to help keep them healthy.
Recognizing this critical need, Neighborhood Health has prioritized medication assistance as a key service and since 2005, we have partnered with the Virginia Health Care Foundation to provide access to free and low-cost medicines to our patients. These include items like inhalers for children and adults with asthma, insulin for people with diabetes, blood pressure medications for those with hypertension, antidepressants for patients experiencing depression, EpiPens for those with severe allergies, and prenatal vitamins for pregnant women. During the pandemic, we have also provided pulse oximeters to patients who tested positive for Covid-19 and needed close monitoring of their oxygen levels from our clinical staff.
At Neighborhood Health, more than 60% of our adult patients have chronic conditions that require regular medication management. Our Medication Assistance Program ensures that these patients are able to obtain their needed medications. We have pharmacy assistance workers at our medical care clinics that assist patients with their medications needs. They help our patients navigate the different programs that can be used including pharmaceutical companies’ Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), our in-house 340-B program which enables community health centers to provide medications at low prices, NovaScriptsCentral (a local nonprofit, volunteer-run central-fill pharmacy), and other low-cost local pharmacy programs. In addition, we have contracted with multiple pharmacies close to our clinics and in neighborhoods where our patients live where they can access their medications close to home.
Dany Hernandez, our Medication Assistance Coordinator, and his team work closely with our physicians and other clinical staff to ensure that our patients have access to the medications and supplies they need, such as medical supplies for diabetic patients and blood pressure cuffs for patients with hypertension.
“The importance of our pharmacy program cannot be overstated. It is key to providing high-quality primary care that keeps our patients healthy, out of the need for care by specialists, and out of the hospital. Hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease can all be well-controlled with medications in our primary care clinics. That is what our MAP program allows us to do every day, a thousand times over. It provides cost-saving for our society and, even more importantly, it enables our patients to be healthy – a right that everyone deserves.” – Elise Morris, MD, Family Medicine Physician and Associate Medical Director
“Our Medical Assistance Program is vital to patient care, because patients can get life saving medications that would not otherwise afford. We are able to treat patients for chronic infections like hepatitis B because of this program.”
Giorgos Hadjivassiliou, MD, Internal Medicine Physician and Infectious Disease Specialist