Wy/Jo Care News Tip

April 1, 2004

With all of the coverage about the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in the news recently, I thought you might also be interested in publishing a story about how some of the area’s low income uninsured residents are currently receiving medical help.

Wy/Jo Care, the charitable care program run by the Medical Society of Johnson and Wyandotte County, has quietly reached several milestones while providing much needed care to the low income, uninsured residents of the two counties.

Through the first quarter of 2014, in seven and a half years of operation, Wy/Jo Care has made over 9,600 referrals for about 7,200 low-income, uninsured patients. These referrals come primarily from safety net clinics, county health clinics and emergency departments in the two counties. They are routed to volunteer specialist physicians throughout the two counties.

Some key facts:

•As of today, $28.9 million dollars in care has been donated through the Wy/Jo Care program since its inception seven years ago. For every dollar spent on program administration last year, approximately $25,000 in medical care was donated. •Over 500 volunteer physicians and all seven hospitals in our two counties participate in the program.
•The Johnson and Wyandotte County Medical Society Foundation oversees the program through the Foundation’s Board of Directors. •Volunteer physicians throughout the area provide specialist care to patients from area safety net clinics, health departments and emergency rooms.
•Safety net clinics in the two counties provide patients with a medical home, appropriate follow up and access to medications and other services •Physical therapy, dental services and optometry services are available in some circumstances •Examples of care provided include joint replacements, cataract surgeries, hysterectomies, colonoscopies and cancer treatments. •The program only serves those with incomes below 200% of the Federal poverty guidelines. Approximately 80 % of our patients have incomes below 100 % of the poverty level, therefore most of our patients will not qualify for subsidies through the ACA.
•Cooperative allocation of resources with our sister programs across the state line, Metro Care, improves access to care throughout the region.

Despite the program’s successes, the need is still much greater than the program can handle. When the wait time for an appointment within a specialty reaches six months, the specialty is “closed” to new referrals. Some specialties are not available at all. Others are only available in extreme circumstances.

For more information, contact Wy/Jo Care at

913-403-0544 wyjocare@msjwc.org

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