FaithCare is meeting the healthcare needs of uninsured employees. During this time when everyone is concerned about their health, we are excited to be in a position to help. Employers recognize that COVID-19 concerns add to the stress that employees face when they don’t have affordable access to healthcare. Donors want to ensure that their contributions are making an impact in our community.
FaithCare, an employee healthcare benefit program for employers, gives employers an affordable way to ensure that employees have access to primary care services. Studies demonstrate that when people are able to benefit from primary care, avoidable use of hospital services decreases, reducing healthcare costs for everyone.
By partnering with employers to cover the costs of primary care for employee groups, Faith Community Health (FAiTH) is able to amplify the impact of contributions from our donors. We are able to fulfill our mission, “providing access to affordable healthcare and promoting wellness of spirit, mind, and body for the underserved who live or work in our community,” with much greater reach without requiring ever-increasing donations. And our business partners benefit from FAiTH’s ability to access resources only available to nonprofits, enabling us to bring exceptional healthcare value to their workforce.
How do we make a difference? My friend Jim Brawner, a member of FAiTH’s board, has experienced a surge of interest in smoking cessation services as people recognize the importance of having healthy lungs. Jim is a certified smoking cessation coach with CoxHealth. Our patients are able to meet with him in our clinic or via Zoom. Dr. Heather Lyons-Burney, a founding board member and licensed pharmacist, is also certified and able to provide personal services to patients wanting to quit. Thanks to grants and donations we are able to provide both prescription and over the counter items to assist patients who want to quit. Studies show that employers benefit from over $5,000 per year in savings when smokers kick the habit.
ADDRESSING FACTORS OF DIABETES TO REDUCE HEALTHCARE COSTS
We also partner with the Taney County Health Department to address obesity, a major risk factor in diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, often considered a chronic and progressive disease, can often be preventable and reversible with education and appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes. We have obtained grant funds from national organizations that enable us to screen for pre-diabetes and work with patients to improve their health.
Diabetes is a primary reason for growing health care costs. CDC statistics show that 47.5% of adults have either diabetes or prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association reports that “people with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of ∼$16,750 per year, of which ∼$9,600 is attributed to diabetes.” This is 2.3 times higher than medical costs in the absence of diabetes. In 2017 there were “277,000 premature deaths attributed to diabetes.” Across the nation, the “costs of diabetes increased by 26% from 2012 to 2017 due to the increased prevalence of diabetes and the increased cost per person with diabetes.”
We are grateful to be on the frontlines of creating a healthier community. FaithCare is another tool that enables us to more effectively reach people who lack access to affordable primary care. Our FaithCare employee benefit program is one of the reasons why FAiTH was recently named the Public Health Champion of 2019 by the Taney County Health Department. They cited the low $10 fee for FaithCare services as an example of how we are making an impact.
We are just one nonprofit in a network of care that spans our community. Together we are facing the challenges of limited resources with creative ways to make the Branson area a great place to live for everyone.
Affordable healthcare for everyone. Together, we can make it happen.