2009 WDH Medication Program saves money for low income community
The Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Medication Bridge Program (WDH MBP) has reached $10,600,000 in drug assistance to low income community members since 2002. WDH MBP does more programming for the community in addition to the medications than any other Medication Bridge Program in the state.
According to Pamela Bapp, WDH MBP Coordinator, the service provides counseling to Welfare Office staff on free or low cost medication programming. “We provide education to senior centers, veterans, high school students, and general public on how to obtain their medications for the lowest cost,” said Pamela.
WDH MBP also connects patients with other services in the community that provide assistance. Programs like Strafford Community Action can provide fuel assistance, utility assistance and job education. Support through ServiceLink provides information about Medicare D benefits as well as Disability applications and services. WDH MBP also helps connect Maine residents with programs in their area.
A special Diabetes Program is offered for those enrolled in the Medication Bridge Program. The participant attends a three hour meeting where a meal is prepared, nutritional values are discussed and free 90 day supplies (test strips, syringes, lancets) are given out as ordered by a primary care provider. The meetings are four times a year and results have been fewer ED visits for patients, fewer inpatient stays, better A1C results, better daily glucose control and better overall drug management. The diabetes program provides education, test strips, syringes and other needed supplies to approximately 90 diabetic patients since it began. WDH MBP has also become a phone resource for medical providers.
The WDH MBP goal is to assist medical providers in carrying out patients’ care plans. “What I have learned over the years is we must look at not just the prescriptions the patient needs, but assist the patient through community networking to alleviate the stress which impacts their self care,” said Pamela.