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Health Team

Partnership to Help Uninsured Get Health Care

Posted March 27, 2007

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— Three Raleigh hospitals and other health-care organizations on Tuesday announced a joint effort to provide care for uninsured people.

The Capital Care Collaborative will include WakeMed, Rex Healthcare and Duke Raleigh Hospital, along with Wake County Human Services, the Wake County Medical Society, Wake Health Services Inc., Alliance Medical Ministry and Urban Ministries of Wake County's Open Door Clinic. The partnership is designed to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and match more patients with primary-care physicians.

A Web-based program for sharing patient information will coordinate care among the different health-care providers a patient might visit. The program also will determine which patients qualify for state or federal reimbursement programs such as Medicaid or for charity care programs.

"We're going to increase access to health care for the uninsured. We're going to reduce duplication of services. We're going to positively impact the financing solutions for health care of the uninsured," said Dr. Susan Weaver, president of the collaborative and director of Alliance Medical Ministry, a clinic that serves uninsured patients.

North Carolina ranks 10th nationally in the percentage of people without health insurance. About 20 percent of Wake County residents lack health insurance, officials said.

Members of the Wake County Medical Society formed the Capital Care Collaborative last April. Long-term goals involve helping provide for mental health needs and improved access to prescription drugs, officials said.

The Web-based program could, for example, allow health-care providers to collect information about patients' prior medical history and medications prescribed by other caregivers, which would improve the safety and quality of care delivered, the organizers said.

17 Comments

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  • WXYZ Mar 29, 2007

    Hi Folks: Please consider the following:
    1. Competetion in health care? No. All health care providers should be required to communicate, collaborate, cooperate and share knowledge and expertise. Everyone who needs health care should have equal access to the best equipment, the best providers and the latest treatment. Competetion has created a "class-system": i.e. those who have the most money have the best insurance policies, which enables them to get the best health care.
    2. Being a "Patient" is far different from being a "Customer or Client or Consumer". The vast majority of "patients" are NOT in that state by "choice" (would you choose to have a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease?).
    3. The best solution for our American society would be to have a health care system which is primarily composed of NONPROFIT health insurance and NONPROFIT hospitals and healthcare facilities.

  • Angry Independent Mar 28, 2007

    Some people are UNINSURABLE unless it's through work. Different federal coverage laws apply to work insurance, which is the only legal group insurance in this state. That is what is so bad.

  • DurhamDude Mar 28, 2007

    El Doggo, you make it sound so simple, but if the company closes, there is no cobra. Some people can't afford to purchase an individual policy if they have a medical condition.

  • DevNTaysMom Mar 28, 2007

    i love you xavier, lol

  • thinktwice Mar 28, 2007

    in a perfect world i believe we could work it out where the employer, the employee and/or the state agree to pay a certain percentage towards insurance. or if i took a job paying $13.00 an hour but agree to take $12.00 and hour and let my employer use that extra dollar an hour to put towards payment of my health care, i think that might work, that's $40.00 a week x 4 weeks is $160.00, if i don't see it i won't miss it. I think some employers just don't take time to sit down with their employees and give them options, they just say i can't afford to give you coverage. But believe me, it works this way. I don't believe that my employer or the state should pay my coverage, but i believe if the government was involved in paying a percentage of it, then the doctors and hospital would be regulated on how much the charge us. How dare they charge people sooooooooo much money to stay healthy? to me that's just legal extortion, but what do we do?

  • jeneric43 Mar 28, 2007

    Durham-Raleligh, AMEN! If all these folks out here complaining about other people making their life miserable would take the effort to "sweep off their own front porch" they would be surprised to see how much "dirt" they can clean up. I know it always works for me..........

  • Angry Independent Mar 28, 2007

    I do believe the 'taxed to death' reference was in terms of illegals and uninsured 'taxing' the healthcare system, inflating costs to everyone who actually pays. And it also 'taxes' us in the conventional sense.. maybe not to death, maybe not yet, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/05/10/heallth.illegal.ap/

  • Durham-Raleigh Mar 27, 2007

    PS -- who's "taxed to death?" I'm not. Of course, I paid much of my way through college, saved up for grad school, and worked hard to get a good job that pays a good income. Oh, and I bought a house that is less than the mortgage lender "says" I can afford, and both my cars are paid off fully.

    Most people I know who say they're taxed to death don't put in the effort to actually earn a good living, live beyond their means, didn't complete their schooling, etc. I have as much sympathy for their plight as they do for the individuals they sometimes scorn.

  • Durham-Raleigh Mar 27, 2007

    Bigger462: I agree, it's not employers' responsibility to pay for health insurance. So why don't we fix our darned broken system and ensure a system where every citizen can get affordable health insurance (note: not privately-controlled medicine -- but publicly supported insurance)?

    Blaming this on illegals is ignorant as best. I first worked in a doctor's office in 1993 and health care costs were already rising at rates far faster than the CPI or other leading indicators of inflation. We've ignored this issue for decades.

    BTW, if you want to know why it's *accepted* as an employer's responsibility, that's an historical accident that dates back to WW II. But instead of just criticizing it... find a better way, 'kay?

  • regularguy_nc-at-yahoo.com Mar 27, 2007

    If an employer cannot afford to pay their employees enough to have a decent standard of living, they should be destroyed. The minimum wage should be at least $12.00 per hour hour. Everyone in the country should have access to healthcare. Pre-existing condition excuses for health insurance companies should be illegal. and/or we could eliminate everyone who gets to a bad enough level of being sick and otherwise prevent procreation of those with genetic diseases and conditions and eventually evolve into a bunch of shiny, happy people who rarely need any significant amount of medical care. Oh yeah… and you could grind up homeless people and feed them to poor people.

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