The Health Care Task Force at ONE Northside (formerly Lakeview Action Coalition) is proud to announce that they won their campaigns at the local and state level. Our local victory improves uninsured residents’ access to primary care in Lakeview. At the state level, we helped pass a law that improves access to free care at hospitals and helps reduce medical debt for low-income, uninsured Illinois residents.
At the local level, healthcare leaders organized uninsured residents and uninsured clients at Presence St. Joseph’s Laboure Clinic to work with the clinic to break down barriers to care for our neighborhood’s most vulnerable residents. We won the following improvements. Read the full press release here.
- ONE Northside provided feedback on the Presence Health system of presumptive eligibility which allows a person to be presumed eligible for free care and fast-tracked through the application process if they meet certain criteria, such as being homeless or using certain government assistance programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or WIC (Women Infant Children). The Clinic is now able to accept the LINK card, as long as the account is active, as adequate proof of eligibility for financial assistance.
- The phone staff and front desk staff have received additional training to help a person who is uninsured identify if they qualify for free care at the beginning of their interaction with the Clinic.
- The Clinic is issuing wallet cards that tell a patient when their eligibility for charity care expires so that a patient can reapply and not experience any lapse in eligibility.
- The Clinic is posting signage in the waiting room and patient exam rooms to inform patients that the Clinic can connect them with resources to fill prescriptions, since this is often a barrier in a patient completing his/her treatment plan.
At the state level we worked with our partners in the Fair Care Coalition to pass a law that says any uninsured Illinois resident who earns below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line is eligible for a full write down (100% discount) on their hospital bills at any hospital in Illinois. Hospitals must adopt a system of presumptive eligibility (see the first bullet point above), and a Social Security Number is no longer required for financial assistance applications! Our charity care law will go into effect on January 1, 2014. Read a full fact sheet on the law here.
If you have any questions about our health care campaigns, please contact Hannah Gelder at 773-769-3232 x19 or firstname.lastname@example.org.