Health Alliance for the Uninsured Expands Health Services Through Support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) recently awarded a $75,000 grant to Health Alliance for the Uninsured (HAU), a non-profit community organization that provides affiliated free clinics in Oklahoma County coordinated services that increase access to and improve the quality of health services for low-income and uninsured individuals. The grant expands and enhances access to CareScope, the web-based data system which connects the free clinics with HAU and allows access to radiology services and specialty referrals, and assists in patient and clinic management. These services allow the clinics to provide improved care for uninsured patients with chronic diseases and acute illnesses, thus reducing emergency room usage and positively impacting healthcare costs.
"Health Alliance for the Uninsured is exactly the kind of organization we look to support at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma," said Bert Marshall, BCBSOK President. "Efforts like theirs make a real and lasting impact on the health of our state, particularly caring for those often overlooked populations who need assistance most."
In addition to providing for the web-hosting and 24/7 service agreement costs for one year, the BCBSOK grant allows HAU to employ a full-time systems administrator to continue the implementation of CareScope in additional clinics and assist all clinics in their utilization of the system’s features. These features include appointment scheduling, patient demographics and clinical data, codes to quantify health data and the value of volunteer services, and referrals for testing or consultations. Free clinics are provided access to patient hospital data, such as allergies, laboratory, imaging, diagnoses, and medications through an interface between CareScope and Secure Medical Records Transfer Network, available in almost all Oklahoma City area hospitals.
"Blue Cross is investing in patient safety and health data management in an area of healthcare—free or charitable clinics serving low-income, uninsured—that is critical to Oklahoma's health but is often overlooked," said Pam Cross, MPH, executive director of Health Alliance for the Uninsured. "Without this grant, it would be difficult for the Health Alliance for the Uninsured to sustain this system."Free clinics utilizing CareScope include Baptist Community Clinic, the Stanley Hupfeld Academy, Baptist Mission Center, Crossings Community Clinic, Good Samaritan Free Clinic of Edmond, Good Shepherd Ministries, Mid-Del Community Clinic, Ministries of Jesus, Open Arms Clinic, Reaching Our City Medical Center and St. Charles Clinic. Clinics planning to implement CareScope soon are King’s Klinic and Little Flower Clinic.