York County Medicine Winter 2019 - 12

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

FEATURE:

I

t's no secret that costs associated with healthcare have
skyrocketed over the past decade. That increase has made it
especially hard for vulnerable populations in York County to
receive the care they need.
As the only locally-based, locally-governed health system in
York County, WellSpan Health has a big stake in developing
initiatives that address the health needs of southcentral
Pennsylvanians.
Since the 1990s WellSpan has provided administrative and
financial support to local programs that benefit the uninsured
and underinsured. It's part of the regional health system's
charitable mission to provide care for all members of the
communities it serves.
WellSpan works closely with organizations like the Healthy
Community Network (HCN), which increases access to
healthcare for vulnerable populations. As the lead member of
the HCN coalition, WellSpan works collaboratively with other
local healthcare providers and social service agencies to provide
healthcare access to individuals with financial hardships.
"It's about removing the financial barriers in healthcare,"
said Eve Gardner, Executive Director, HCN. "If we can take
the barriers out of the equation, there is a higher likelihood that
patient will follow through with the care they need, creating a
healthier community as a whole."
The HCN provides a HealthyCare Card to qualifying
individuals who enroll in the program. The card is accepted at
various care locations across York County.
Unlike traditional financial assistance
programs, the HealthyCare Card program
allows individuals to enroll for assistance
before they need to access healthcare.
About 2,000 people in York County
are enrolled with the HealthyCare Card
program at any given time. A person does
need to exhaust all insurance options before
they become eligible for the card.
In addition to the HCN, WellSpan also offers a range of
services and programs for vulnerable populations who need
comprehensive care but may be unable to afford it.
As an example, the WellSpan Bridges to Health program
assists patients who require more complex care than traditional
primary care doctors can typically provide. The program
surrounds each patient with a healthcare team that includes a

12

York County Medicine | WINTER 2019

doctor, nurse, social worker and RN case manager. The group
works closely to coordinate both treatment and even nonmedical details such as transportation to and from healthcare
appointments that may prevent the patient from receiving
optimal care.
"This program helps navigate resources for these patients
by determining goals that can help to resolve their medical
problems, often times indirectly," explains Chris Echterling,
M.D., medical director of vulnerable populations, WellSpan
Health. "Sometimes the priority is not their diabetes, but other
issues like the grandchild for whom they have sole responsibility."
WellSpan York Hospital also provides more than $4 million
each year in discounted medical, dental and pharmaceutical
services to patients through several WellSpan services and
programs.
WellSpan's outpatient health services in the city of York
include:
* WellSpan Community Health Center
* Thomas Hart Family Practice Center
* WellSpan York Hospital Dental Center & Hoodner Dental
Center
* WellSpan Philhaven Behavioral Health
* WellSpan on Market lab location
In 2019, WellSpan York Hospital alone
provided $3.4 million in charity care and
$72 million in unreimbursed cost to Medical
Assistance (Medicaid) enrollees. Across the
entire health system, those numbers grow to
more than $11 million in charity care and
nearly $180 million in unreimbursed cost to
Medical Assistance (Medicaid) enrollees at all
WellSpan care locations.
WellSpan believes that a healthy community is a strong one
and that a lack of sufficient health insurance should never be an
obstacle for care. WellSpan's commitment to the community has
grown with the health system in the form of these programs and
financial support and continues to help thousands gain access to
the care they need, right here in York County.


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York County Medicine Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of York County Medicine Winter 2019

York County Medicine Winter 2019 - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/YorkCounty_Medicine/ycm_summer18
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