FCH dispensary use grows dramatically among returning patients

Faith Community Health reports a striking increase in its dispensary medication use from 2014 to 2016. Executive director Kenn Tilus said, “Refills more than quadrupled and total prescription volume tripled. Patient medical visits increased by 10 percent during the same period, with more than 2,000 appointments every year.”

FCH dispensed 4,671 prescriptions in 2014. That increased to 11, 632 in 2015 and 14,264 in 2016. “It means that FCH patients increasingly recognize the value of our dispensary for their medications,” said the dispensary’s pharmacist, Dr. Heather Lyons-Burney. “It also may reflect the results of the one-on-one care and education that FCH patients received for chronic conditions including diabetes, high cholesterol, mental illness, and high blood pressure,” she said.

According to Tilus, FCH obtains medications at very little cost through manufacturers’ patient assistance programs and Dispensary of Hope, a non-profit organization that channels excess pharmaceuticals to clinics like FCH for a monthly a fee. A contract for services with the City of Branson provides limited funding for dispensary costs for Branson residents. The FCH dispensary does not carry narcotics.

Tilus said, “Regardless of the source, we have never charged patients who qualify for dispensary services.”

Unlike many clinics, FCH manages applications, ordering and dispensing of PAPs from drug manufacturers to assist patients with the financial paperwork so they can receive prescriptions at no charge. Ninety-three percent of FCH patients benefit from the dispensary.

So the growth is great news, but it also is a challenge, Tilus said.

Funding for Faith Community Health comes from patient fees, grants and donor support. In 2016, patient fees accounted for 44% of all revenue. Patients at FCH are required to pay for a portion of their care, based on household income. Although donations have been increasing each year, donor revenue has been insufficient to keep up with the growth in patients seeking care at Faith Community Health.

According to Tilus, donations go toward the clinic’s operational costs and donations fell short of the clinic’s needs in 2016. He said, “FCH is working to raise an additional $7,500 per month to fund clinic operations in 2017. Donations made by April 30 will be matched by the Skaggs Legacy Foundation.” For more information or to donate, go to www.faithcommunityhealth.org.

 

About Faith Community Health

Faith Community Health has been named the 2016 Charity of the Year by the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. The non-profit, faith-based ministry provides healthcare to employees and residents of Stone and Taney counties at affordable, income-based rates. FCH relies on the contributions of friends, organizations and businesses to serve patients.