Posted By Bill Couzens Founder Less Cancer

A Better Idea…Newark Rx

Heinz Family Philanthropies Helps to Bridge Critical Gap

Created in response to the growing health care need in the Newark area, NewarkHealthPlus is a pilot program dedicated to providing non-hospital based primary medical care to low-income people without health insurance. Utilizing the services of physician partners in the community, the goal of NewarkHealthPlus is a simple one –to create a medical home for people without health care coverage so that they do not need to use hospital Emergency Departments for basic, primary medical care.

Individuals who are uninsured and have no access to primary medical care are referred to the NewarkHealthPlus program. Dr. Thomas Ortiz and the Forest Hill Family Health Associates will be the first medical home for 400 of these uninsured Newark residents. We have negotiated a capitated payment plan (a specific monthly amount paid to the practice to care for 400 uninsured adults over the next 12 months). The cost of their medical care, as well as costs for other uninsured patients using Forest Hill Family Health Associates, is being underwritten by our project partners.

As of today, we already have 100 adults enrolled. We expect to be at capacity by late December 2009 or by mid January 2010.

NewarkHealthPlus and Clinical Laboratory Services:

To ensure that patients who need specific clinical testing have access, we have partnered with LabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America). LabCorp has agreed to cover all outpatient lab testing for the 400 adults enrolled in NewarkHealthPlus. This is an annualized value of $500,000.

Newark Rx

NewarkRx is innovative pilot programs created to help low-income, uninsured residents of Newark obtain critically needed, often life-sustaining, prescription medications. NewarkRx will improve patient health outcomes and promote positive and preventive health care service utilization by instituting a streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective process for delivering more medications to a greater number of people.

NewarkRx is a partnership between the City of Newark, the Heinz Family Philanthropies/PS2, PhRMA, the American Heart Association, inVentive Health, IMMAC (Institute for Medication Management and Access) and Welvista. This program was designed as one-stop resource for medication access and participants will be qualified based on financial need: income at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines and no prescription drug coverage. Medications will be provided at no cost either to the client or to the prescribing health care provider.

We are beginning to run newspaper ads in local African American and Hispanic newspapers and soon we will launch a church-based effort to enroll eligible patients. Giving away free medications is a VERY labor intensive process that requires multiple strategies.

For the duration of the program, we estimate that over $1.6 million in name brand prescription drugs will be dispensed to patients that really need them. This figure does not include the money that will be saved when get on the drugs they need and stay on them thereby reducing hospitalizations and Emergency Room visits.

How can you help? By going to www.newarkrx.org you can make an online donation to help ensure that uninsured children and adults living in Newark receive the needed medications and medical they need. One hundred percent of your contribution is dedicated to helping people with the cost of medical care and/or prescription drugs. And, different from every program, ours is completely transparent – we will show each donor how each donated dollar is spent. The best part – none of your donation is used for the administration of the program. The Heinz Family Philanthropies is underwriting all of the administrative costs for these programs.