published Saturday, October 1st, 2011

$76 million in donated care

We all want everyone who really needs health care to receive it. But while many of us fortunately have health insurance, and government programs help others, it is wonderful news that the Project Access Community Health Partnership has coordinated the provision of more than $76 million in donated health care for the working poor in Hamilton County since the program began in April 2004!

Dr. Joe Cofer, chairman of Project Access, said the program has arranged for needed service to be donated so that "Every $1 spent on program operations resulted in $31 in donated health care services in 2010 and to date in 2011."

What a return on investment!

Dr. Phyllis Miller, president of the Medical Foundation of Chattanooga, explained in a news release: "Physicians began Project Access to better coordinate charity care physicians always have provided. Our long-term partnership with our hospital systems, community health centers, and our 600-plus volunteer physicians make Project Access an incredible success story."

Rae Young Bond, executive director of the Medical Society and Foundation, said that "Through Project Access, uninsured residents have access to quality specialty care, hospital care, and even rehabilitation services."

Cofer noted that with Project Access, many people who work but do not have insurance can keep working while their medical conditions are treated.

Jim Brexler, who heads Erlanger Health System, pointed out that the program was first organized to provide charitable care more efficiently. Jim Hobson, who heads Memorial Health Care System, praised the wide array of high-caliber services that Project Access provides.

And Darrell Moore, president of Parkridge Health System, said the program enables patients to continue supporting their families while they are treated.

Just consider what this means, certainly to the patients served, but also as a humane and economic benefit to the entire community.

We applaud everyone who has played a role in making this worthy program a resounding success.

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