Phoebe Care Card changes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Phoebe Care Card changes

January 4, 2007

Albany --  For the past two years, Phoebe Putney Hospital has offered The Phoebe Care Card, a way to pre-qualify for free or reduced-cost care.

But as of January 1st, some clinics within the Phoebe system are no longer pre-qualifying patients for those cards, and one patient we spoke to doesn't like the changes.  

Carol Johnson goes to the Doctor regularly for her diabetes which has spiraled out of control.  "You have to go once a month for blood work, go for other testing," she says.

For two years, she's come here, to the Family Medical Center in Lee County for treatment. But the last time she visited, Carol was told there were changes on the way. "They told me I couldn't go back no more. I had to go and find another Doctor and that was upsetting."

That's because Carol uses the Phoebe Care Card Program, which pre-qualifies low-income patients for financial assistance.    

Phoebe's Asst. Marketing VP, Jackie Ryan, says the hospital is trying to help the patients. "We're tweaking that system a little bit to expand the primary care, to build a better primary care model. Our intent is to tweak that system so that the primary care model is as strong as it can possibly be for this region."

Here are the centers that no longer pre-certify patients for the Phoebe Care Card:

They include convenient Care and family medical centers.

Phoebe Family Care Center/Residency Dawson Road, Albany

Phoebe Family Medical Center US Hwy 19 Leesburg

Phoebe Family Medical Center US Hwy 19 Camilla

Tower Medical Group 3rd Avenue, Albany

Tower Medical Group-Meredyth Meredyth Drive, Albany

Phoebe Northwest Convenient Care Dawson Road, Albany

Phoebe East Convenient Care Sylvester Road, Albany

But Albany Area Primary Healthcare, a non-profit, is partnering with Phoebe to provide services at these locations:

Where anyone who holds a Phoebe Care Card is automatically qualified for assistance.

AAPHC Facilities Offering Assistance to Card Holders:

East Albany Medical/Pediatric & Adolescent Center East Broad Avenue, Albany

Lee Medical Arts Center Hwy 19 North, Leesburg

South Albany Medical/Pediatric & Adolescent Center Newton Road, Albany

Rural Clinic East Oglethorpe Boulevard, Albany

Baker County Primary Health Care Center Sunset Boulevard., Newton

Dawson Medical Center Johnson Street SE, Dawson

Edison Medical Center West Hartford, Edison

Ryan says, "You want to have people build a relationship with that primary care physician, so when they are sick, they can go to that primary care physician who knows them."  

"I was establishing a good relationship with him," said Johnson. "We would talk. He would call me on the phone if he found something really wrong with me, he would call and tell me to come back into the office the next day."

Phoebe officials say they would never turn a patient away, and inform all patients of any plan changes. Pre-Qualification is for hospital based services and specialty clinics only.

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