GREENSBORO, N.C. — Janet Allamandani was left with little choice as she was discharged from the hospital after another seizure earlier this year.
“One of my medicines is like $268,” said Allamandani. “I can’t afford it.”
But by not filling the prescription it led to another seizure and another visit to the emergency room.
Since she’s been going to the Community Health and Wellness Center at 201 E. Wendover Avenue in Greensboro, Allamandani hasn’t had to forgo that medicine because she’s one of the first people to benefit from a new pharmacy that the organization says will be operational in a few weeks.
“A majority of the patients we serve here, probably 80 percent of our patients, are uninsured,” said Jamilla Pinder, director of the wellness center run by Moses Cone Hospital. “If they are uninsured where are you going to go to get your primary care needs? You have no options. You either go to the emergency room or you don’t get your needs met.”
The center sees many patients who can’t afford health insurance but don’t qualify for Medicaid. In some cases the medication will be free but if not the price will be affordable.
“I pay $26 for some of the medicines,” said Allamandani. “But they’re bending over backwards trying to get me free medicines.”
The center sees it as a way to keep patients healthy but also as a costs savings by helping prevent “healthcare by ER.”
“That medication which might be $20 or $30 versus them going to the emergency room using medication management and it costing the health system $1,000,” said Pinder.
Courtney Isom, director of the pharmacy, said she expects 150 to 200 prescriptions to be filled every day.
“They’ll be able to go home and feel better about their situation,” said Isom.
Before leaving the center, patients can take advantage of social services and medication management as well.
To Allamandani though, the most valuable takeaway is the break on medications.
“These people are a blessing,” said Allamandani.
A similar program is available in Winston-Salem for Forsyth, Davie and Stokes counties. Last year, the Community Care Center helped coordinate $6 million in free medications.