New position at Owensboro Health helps save patients money
By Christie Netherton, Messenger-Inquirer
Since Owensboro Health added a pharmacy patient financial advocate position in January at the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center, Jamie Morrison, who currently holds the job, said it has saved patients and the hospital millions of dollars.
Morrison said her role is to connect patients with programs that provide financial assistance to those with high co-payments, deductibles and coinsurance.
“There are many, many things you have to worry about and paying for treatment should not … even be on the list,” she said. “I can lessen that financial burden for them.”
Morrison said she finds patients with high deductibles and determines what the patient’s insurance covers, and then is able to see if the patient qualifies for any programs that provide assistance.
Many patients that qualify for such assistance are those who are uninsured or have government- funded insurance, she said.
“If you’ve got a government- funded insurance and your coinsurance is $3,000 to $5,000 a month, it’s just inconceivable to think that someone could pay that every single month for their treatment, so many patients will not even have a treatment because they just know that’s piling up on top of them,” Morrison said.
For patients that do not qualify for assistance programs, Morrison said there are many charities that provide financial assistance based on the patient’s diagnosis.
Morrison said the role of pharmacy patient financial advocate has helped to save patients about $6.1 million since January.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “Not only are we helping the patient out, but it helps Owensboro Health out as well. That way we can give back to the community in other ways. It’s kind of a win-win situation.”