Congress created the 340B drug savings program to help those hospitals serving vulnerable communities expand access to prescription drugs and support essential services for their communities. The savings generated from the 340B drug discount program are used by MedStar Union Memorial Hospital to help keep pace with the rapidly rising costs of prescription drugs, as well as to offer additional needed services to our community such as the ones described below.
Access to Care for Vulnerable Populations
MedStar Union Memorial Hospital recognizes the importance of early detection for cancer and has programs available for those who may not be able to afford these lifesaving screenings on their own. The hospital also provides pathways for financial assistance for individuals that are unable to afford their treatment services and provides innovative approaches to receive continued care in a home setting.
- Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program provides free breast and cervical cancer screening programs to uninsured Baltimore City and County residents. MedStar Union Memorial Hospital partners with its three Baltimore regional hospitals to screen women – most of whom are Hispanic/Latina.
- Colon Cancer Screening Program provides free colon cancer screening programs to uninsured Baltimore City and County residents. MedStar Union Memorial Hospital partners with its three Baltimore regional hospitals to screen individuals. A majority of those screened are Hispanic/Latino.
- Shepherd’s Clinic serves as a key partner to the hospital. A clinic designated for uninsured individuals, MedStar Union Memorial provides a nurse educator and medical provider to treat the most vulnerable of community residents. A wide variety of education programs, including chronic disease management, diabetes self-education, yoga, and holistic medicine approaches are also provided at the clinic’s Joy Wellness Center.
- Prescription Assistance Funding and assistance with accessing prescription medications for patients in need are available.
- Palliative Telemedicine Program helps transition individuals on palliative services from the hospital to home by providing continued education, comfort, and care assistance via an electronic platform.
- Patient Financial Services provides financial assistance to uninsured patients who reside within the communities we serve by assisting with enrollment in publicly-funded entitlement programs, refer patients to State or Federal Insurance Exchange Navigator resources and assist with consideration of funding that may be available from other charitable organizations.
- Bedside Rx Delivery Service is a free service to eliminate barriers such as transportation, to help patients take prescribed medications as instructed, to improve health outcomes and avoid readmission.
Health and Wellness
- MedStar Union Memorial Hospital serves as the front door to the opioid epidemic and provides comprehensive behavioral health resources through a variety of different programs. The organization also recognizes that at-risk, high-needs individuals living in our communities need access to chronic disease management and prevention education.
- Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a program for screening and identification of substance use disorder, with a goal of providing referrals for substance abuse treatment. The program serves MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department and select outpatient primary care settings. Peer Recovery Coaches provide brief intervention and referrals to community support services and treatment centers.
- Opioid Survivor Outreach Program (OSOP) is an extension of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s SBIRT program. The program provides community outreach for overdose survivors in the hospital’s emergency department. Statistics show that those who survive an opioid overdose have a 60% mortality rate unless they are actively engaged in treatment. MedStar’s field base initiative, sends peer recovery coaches in the field to see recent overdose survivors and link them to treatment services, naloxone trainings and provide a consistent point of contact should someone wish to enter care.
- Mental Health and Substance Use Education In partnership with community organizations, such as the Baltimore City Health Department and Mosaic Community Services MedStar Union Memorial Hospital offers free education courses on mental health awareness and naloxone administration.
Chronic Disease Education programs are offered to support healthy lifestyle changes for community members:
- Living Well Self-Management Programs offers evidence based six-week workshops for adults who have long lasting health problems with ideas to help them take charge of their health and live active and enjoyable lives. Family members and caregivers are also welcome.
- Diabetes Prevention Programs offers evidence-based year-long programs to help community members prevent diabetes through life balance and weight management.
- Smoking Cessation Programs are offered on a quarterly basis to provide community members a forum to receive support to stop smoking.
- MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is an active participant in providing health education at Health Fairs across its community benefit service area. Free flu shot clinics are also provided at a wide range of churches and community-based organizations.
- Fitness for Seniors is a well-attended program hosted at a local community center and serves as a mechanism to encourage physical activity and decrease social isolation.
Social Determinants of Health
MedStar Union Memorial Hospital invests in programs and partnerships that address the social needs of patients and community members.
- Workforce Development MedStar Union Memorial Hospital hires and trains individuals from high poverty and high unemployment zip codes to expand its population health workforce of Community Health Workers and Peer Recovery Specialists.
- Housing in Collaboration with the City of Baltimore and Health Care for the Homeless invest in the Supportive Housing Investment Fund to provide housing case management and tenancy support services to adults who are high utilizers of emergency departments or have co-occurring chronic health conditions, and who are experiencing housing instability or homelessness.
- Vivian T. Thomas Academy serves as key partners to provide internships to expose local high school students to careers in healthcare, as well as hands-on experience in a hospital setting.
- Project Search Program is an internship that provides adults with disabilities job training to help provide them with hands-on work experience for future employment opportunities.
- Transportation in partnership with Uber, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital has created a convenient ride option program with a reliable means of transportation for vulnerable patients to medical appointments and health education activities. In addition to services through Uber, the hospital provides funds for patients with transportation needs through case management department.