Posted: Thursday, August 02, 2007
Health care in America is changing rapidly. But in the midst of this change, one thing remains constant: Communities rely on hospitals - as well as the nurses, physicians and staff - to provide care to everyone, including those who are uninsured or underinsured.
Full-service community hospitals are the health care safety net, providing basic health care services for those in need. No matter what, no matter when, America's community hospitals are there - keeping the promise that the full spectrum of health care services will be there 24-7.
Maria Elena Saavedra-Melesio woke up in the middle of the night with chest pains. She was rushed to her local hospital and received lifesaving treatment immediately.
Unemployed and uninsured, she was concerned about how she would ever pay for her care. But a financial counselor at the hospital worked with Maria to help her understand the financial assistance available to her. Maria learned she qualified for a 100 percent discount on her medical bills. Today, Maria is grateful for the care she received and knows from first hand experience that uninsured patients can always seek hospital care when they are sick, regardless of their ability to pay.
In 2006, Barton HealthCare System wrote off more than $3 million in â€œCharity Careâ€ in hospital charges alone. The Barton Community Clinic, which represents a loss to the HealthCare System's bottom line of approximately $1.3 million annually, is another avenue for the health care system to provide medical care to our community. Patients pay for services on a sliding scale, based on their income.
In addition to those services for which the hospital is not reimbursed, Barton has a â€œHelping Handsâ€ program that offers medical care to those who are uninsured or underinsured at substantially reduced prices. Monthly Wellness Lab Draws and EKGs are offered at our Express Lab at substantially reduced prices. Quarterly Screenings and flu shots are also offered at significantly reduced prices. It is Barton's mission to provide medical care to everyone and to ensure that our community's health is as good as possible.
Barton's Outreach Activities