HELPING UNINSURED PATIENTS WITH DIABETES
Nonprofit safety-net community clinics and health centers are the medical homes for low income patients without insurance, providing care to millions of patients annually. They are also key providers of healthcare for the unemployed. Numerous studies have shown that when a rise in unemployment occurs, so too does the number of patients presenting for care at clinics and health centers.
“For our diabetic patients in particular, it is so hard to monitor and control their diabetes because they are unable to afford their supplies and medications. It is because of generous donations like Direct Relief’s that we are able to fight the good fight and provide necessary health care services for our most underprivileged population.”
– Melanie Roby, Executive Director, Dr. Albert B. Cleage Senior Memorial Health Center – Detroit, MI.
Over the past several years, the unemployment rate has experienced a greater increase than in the two decades prior, causing many people to lose their health insurance. This presents serious challenges to those with chronic diseases, especially the 25 million people in the United States with diabetes. Testimonial evidence gathered by Direct Relief underscores this critical need, as clinics and health centers have reported a sharp increase in the numbers of patients seeking treatment.
To address this growing challenge, Direct Relief and BD developed a nationwide program to assist people with insulin-dependent diagnosed diabetes, providing 10 million insulin syringes and pen needles to a nationwide network of nonprofit clinics. Additionally, Direct Relief and BD, in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers and the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, distributed two nationwide surveys to better understand the need for insulin injection products and to gauge the increase in patient populations.
With information provided by 803 clinic and health center respondents spanning all 50 states, Direct Relief and BD have been able to support treatment for tens of thousands of patients.
BD Diagnostics and Direct Relief teamed up in 2009 to launch a nationwide program to assist people with diabetes who had been affected by the economic crisis. The newly unemployed often lack health insurance and access to affordable medical care, making chronic conditions difficult to manage. For those with diabetes, this could result in a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening complications. In an effort to prevent these serious complications, BD donated 5 million insulin syringes and pen needles to Direct Relief to distribute to their nationwide network of clinic partners. The 5 million syringes and pen needles were shipped to 560 clinics – located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – and enabled providers to treat their eligible patients with a three-month supply.