Published on December 14, 2020

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.

Jamie MorrisonMorrison 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.” 

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 200 providers at more than 20 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a surgical weight loss center and program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have 16,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 24,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 200 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 70,000 Emergency Department visits, more than a million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.