|NEWSRoom | Source: Bay Area Surgical Management|
California Medical/Urgent Care Provider Creates Free 'Safety Net' to Help Uninsured
In response to a national crisis in lack of adequate medical care for millions of uninsured people in the US, Bay Area Surgical Management announces a ground-breaking program to provide immediate free medical services to 1,000 qualifying Santa Clara County, California residents.
Through BASM's new charitable program, patients that have either been denied or cannot afford health insurance will be eligible to receive entirely free healthcare services—from basic checkups to complicated surgeries. Intended as a role model for other medical centers, BASM's goal is to offer services to meet a broad spectrum of medical needs. Patients in BASM's Safety Net program will have access to primary care physicians, surgical specialists, imaging equipment, pharmaceutical coverage, physical therapy and rehabilitation treatments—all at absolutely no cost.
"The specific problem in our area is that ERs are overcrowded with people that may not need emergency medical care due to a lack of insurance," said Bobby Sarnevesht, the company's executive of marketing. "We want to help get those patients out of the ER and long wait lines and provide services really needed."
According to Santa Clara County data, access to healthcare in the region has significantly declined in the past decade. From 2000 to 2009, for example, the number of uninsured adults in the county more than doubled. During this time, the percentage of people who could not see a doctor due to the cost or lack of insurance nearly tripled, from 5% to a whopping 13%.
Millions of patients around the country are suffering from inadequate care and long waits in emergency rooms simply because they lack health insurance. While it might be impossible to help everyone, Bay Area Surgical Management is proving that dedicated, responsible organizations can start changing the system with grass roots efforts in their local communities.
"Children, adults and the elderly should not be restricted by money to get the care they need," Sarnevesht said. "Children with ear infections and adults with basic aches and pains shouldn't be taking a full day from work to receive simple, basic care they deserve," Sarnevesht added. "We can provide efficient care to patients while helping to streamline the healthcare system."
If BASM's Safety Net pilot program is successful, the company hopes to approach the Department of Health and Human Services as a role model for similar programs. "We're testing the market to see what numbers we can yield, which we will then take to the federal level," Sarnevesht added.
Local Solution for a Nationwide Epidemic
Sarnevesht points out that this issue not only affects the uninsured population in Santa Clara, California but millions of patients throughout the country. With approximately 342 visits at a clinic per week, visiting 9,000 urgent care centers, there is a big need for companies such as BASM to step in and offer their help and services.
Eligible residents for BASM's Safety Net program include people who either do not have access to health insurance or are not able to afford it. Low-income residents who qualify for the program could also be eligible to receive medically necessary healthcare services at no cost at BASM community health centers located throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, the program would like to help struggling families experiencing medical hardships that are not able to pay their medical bills.
"We don't understand why no one else is doing this," said Sarnevesht about BASM's new program. "It's a solution that could unclog emergency rooms and help thousands of uninsured patients nationwide."
While the Safety Net is being offered on a small scale, BASM hopes it will inspire other medical centers around the country to follow suit. "We want to help people who will benefit the most from these services," Sarnevesht said. "We can't offer everything to everyone, but we can offer enough to make a difference and to inspire other providers across the US."
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