Effort to increase access to specialty medical care continues

A group called Project Access Northwest — active in King and Snohomish counties — has proposed a one-year pilot program in Kitsap County to increase low-income people’s access to specialty health care by removing barriers for them and physicians.

Local health leaders from a number of places that included Harrison Medical Center met Jan. 25 to hear Project Access’ proposal. It was the second time local health leaders met on the issue.

The effort is being spearheaded by Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder, who spent years in health care.

The idea revolves around “telephone case management,” he said, adding most of the decisions of how the program would look still have to be made.

The proposal for the pilot program called for Project Access, Harrison, Peninsula Community Health Services, free clinics, private practices and labs create a new partnership to develop a system of donated charity care, with case management done by telephone, fax and email, keeping costs lower.

Eligible people would be ethnically diverse, and would live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2011 that was $44,100 for a family of four.

The group will look some more at the proposal, and then give it some public airing.

Gelder feels good about how the effort’s going.

“There’s definitely energy and passion about this as a potential program and approach about the uninsured and underinsured in out community.”

3 thoughts on “Effort to increase access to specialty medical care continues

  1. That’s great news.
    I’m a little puzzled by the fact there is no help for Medicare patients – that I know about – when they require leg wraps/support stockings and have no one to help them at home.
    What can be done to help them, Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Geldercq?

  2. “Gelder feels good about how the effort’s going.

    “There’s definitely energy and passion about this as a potential program and approach about the uninsured and underinsured in out community.””

    Does this effort replace Medicaid? Medicaid was set up, as I understand it, for the poor and folks who can’t afford medical insurance.
    Will tax dollars support the new planned program and Medicaid?

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