Medication Assistance Program: University of Missouri Health Care Department of Social Services.
Parker-Oliver, Debra, Crandall, Lisa, Health and Social Work
The increasing cost of prescription medication in the United States is well documented (Wechsler, 2000). The cost of medication is a hardship for anyone managing a chronic disease, but is an even larger burden for those who are financially vulnerable. Individuals who are not compliant with prescribed medication regimes are estimated to cost the United States between $13 and $15 billion annually (Mistry & Sorrentino, 1999). One of the major reasons individuals are not compliant is cost. Patients who are forced to choose between the purchase of food or medication are unable to follow the physician's treatment plan. Unaware of the cost of the medications they prescribe, many physicians place a financial hardship on their patients (Reichert, Simin, & Halm, 2000).
Social workers in health care settings daily encounter individuals unable to pay for prescription drugs, including patients with little or no insurance and those unable to afford deductibles and co-payments. The lack of insurance coverage for prescription drugs, combined with the increasing cost of drugs, has resulted in many individuals being unable to obtain good medical care. Moreover, failure to take medically necessary medications results in revolving-door admissions to hospitals and more office visits (Harjai, 2000). To address these issues the Social Services Department at the University of Missouri Health Care developed the Medication Assistance Program (MAP).
Before the development of MAP, the University of Missouri provided free medication to patients with financial hardships. In 1998 the university calculated pharmacy charges of $655,929 for necessary medications for which there was no reimbursement. In July 1998 the university hired a BSW social worker as a resource specialist and initiated a case management process to help lower these burdensome costs. The challenge was to find resources and help clients develop long-term strategies for medication management, following them in the …
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Publication information: Article title: Medication Assistance Program: University of Missouri Health Care Department of Social Services. . Contributors: Parker-Oliver, Debra - Author, Crandall, Lisa - Author. Journal title: Health and Social Work. Volume: 27. Issue: 4 Publication date: November 2002. Page number: 303+. © 1999 National Association of Social Workers. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.
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