Medical bills don’t have to be scary. At Sheridan Memorial Hospital (SMH), our Patient Financial Advocates are available to help patients plan for current or upcoming medical expenses and gain access to financial assistance for various expenditures from medical procedures to medications.
According to Cheryl Relaford, Patient Accounts Manager, “It’s a fact that patients heal better if they aren’t stressed about their medical bills. There are several solutions available and our Patient Financial Advocates facilitate these solutions.”
“We have six individuals at the hospital to help patients navigate the financial side of their healthcare,” Relaford related, “We work really hard to connect patients with state, federal and private resources to help them mitigate their healthcare expenses.”
The financial advocates are located throughout the hospital – Welch Cancer Center, Women’s Clinic, the Outpatient Center and the lower level of the main hospital – to address needs in specific areas.
One of the specific needs that comes up often is covering prescription costs. The Medication Assistance Program (MAP) is an opportunity for uninsured or underinsured patients to receive help through free or reduced price drugs, including low co-payments.
“Through our Medication Assistance Program, we help patients apply for assistance through programs available by pharmaceutical companies,” Relaford explained. “The pharmaceutical companies then determine, through their processes, who qualifies based on the information submitted.”
Because we are working with outside entities on this application process, it can take some time for completion. Patients should allow up to 6 weeks for medications to be delivered.
“Through MAP we serve approximately 40 patients per month,” Relaford stated, “so the need is definitely evident in our community.”
While this is a free program, SMH does ask for a $5 donation to the program to help cover minor administrative expenses.
According to Relaford, “There are several opportunities for patients to access resources to help with medical bills and our financial advocates are just a phone call away.”
To set up an appointment for assistance through an SMH Patient Financial Advocate call 307-675-4620.