RICHMOND, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the financial support of Owens & Minor, Inc. (NYSE: OMI), the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) has launched a ground-breaking, easy to use, mobile application for its web-based software, The Pharmacy Connection (TPC), which expedites access to low or no-cost prescription medicines for uninsured Virginians. Created by VHCF, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving access to primary care for uninsured and medically underserved Virginians, this app helps doctors, who treat healthcare safety net patients, quickly identify and prescribe free or low-cost medications for chronically ill, uninsured individuals throughout Virginia and in 14 other states.
“TPC is more than just software,” said VHCF Executive Director Deborah Oswalt. “It is an indispensable tool for many free clinics, community health centers, and other similar organizations that use it to obtain free and low-cost medicines for their patients.” Traditionally, providers used a time-consuming manual approach to determine if there were free medicines for their patients, she said. “Now with the mobile app, physicians can just pull out their phones and look up the meds while they are seeing the patient.” This is an immediate solution that provides a list of free medicines and dosages available to treat each disease.
Oswalt explained why this app is a game changer. “Prescription medicine is typically the treatment for most illnesses,” she said. “Volunteers at free clinics may donate their expertise and diagnose a condition, but for the most part, a patient needs prescription medicine to treat the illness. The reason this is such an important initiative is that securing medicine is the critical link to stabilize patients and improve their health.”
“Owens & Minor is honored to provide support for the VHCF mobile pharmacy app,” said P. Cody Phipps, president & chief executive officer of Owens & Minor. “Supporting this innovative approach to delivering vital healthcare services fits with our vision: ‘Together, we make healing happen by connecting the world of medical products to the point of care.’”
VHCF has made it a priority to maximize use of the free medicines made available by brand-name pharmaceutical companies’ Patient Assistance Programs in Virginia. These important programs have existed since the mid-1990s, and today, there are more than 230 of them. “All have their own forms and eligibility criteria making it difficult to keep up with the program variations,” said Oswalt. That barrier is what sparked VHCF to create TPC twenty years ago. Now, with Owens & Minor’s support, TPC includes a mobile app. “Our approach is to find ways to add value and meet needs,” said Oswalt, mirroring a key tenet of Owens & Minor.
Another benefit of TPC is that it enables free clinics to stretch their budget dollars and treat more patients, since they don’t have to spend as much money for medicines for their patients. Oswalt noted that prior to VHCF’s creation of TPC, most free clinics had to devote more than 50% of their budgets to procuring medicines. By using TPC, these free clinics dramatically decreased the amount they had to spend on medicines, enabling them to redirect those funds to treating more patients and adding new services. An indispensable tool for many free clinics, community health centers, and other similar organizations, TPC offers more than 3000 medicines for chronic diseases ranging from diabetes to hypertension and from clinical depression to asthma. Even prior to the launch of the mobile app, TPC had generated access to more than $4.6 billion in free medications for more than 306,000 uninsured Virginians since its creation.
A public/private partnership, VHCF helps uninsured Virginians and those who live in underserved communities obtain needed medical, dental, and mental-health care. VHCF helps free clinics, community health centers and other similar organizations expand the range of care offered and the number of patients cared for each year. In addition to grants, VHCF outreach helps uninsured children enroll in Virginias FAMIS Programs–the states comprehensive insurance for children. Learn more about TPC and its role as an important asset for health safety net providers and Virginia’s uninsured. To find organizations that can help uninsured patients obtain needed prescription medicines, consult: http://www.vhcf.org/looking-for-help/prescription-medicine-access/. For organizations that want to learn more about TPC and explore using it to help patients, see www.vhcf.org/for-those-who-help/the-pharmacy-connection/.
About Owens & Minor
Owens & Minor, Inc. (NYSE: OMI) is a global healthcare services company dedicated to Connecting the World of Medical Products to the Point of CareSM by providing vital supply chain services to healthcare providers and manufacturers of healthcare products. Owens & Minor provides logistics services across the spectrum of medical products from disposable medical supplies to devices and implants. With logistics platforms strategically located in the United States and Europe, Owens & Minor serves markets where three quarters of global healthcare spending occurs. Owens & Minor’s customers span the healthcare market from independent hospitals to large integrated healthcare networks, as well as group purchasing organizations, healthcare products manufacturers, and the federal government. A FORTUNE 500 company, Owens & Minor is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and has annualized revenues exceeding $9 billion. For more information about Owens & Minor, visit owens-minor.com, follow @Owens_Minor on Twitter, and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/owens-&-minor.