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County Express receives grant PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Chris Wiant, Chief Executive Officer for the Caring for Colorado Foundation, has announced a grant of $35,000 for County Express to provide non-emergent medical transportation in Northeast Colorado.

In announcing the grant award, Wiant noted that the one of the priorities of the Caring for Colorado Foundation is access to medical services and facilities. Since the Northeastern Colorado Association of Local Governments has identified transportation as a barrier to maximizing health, especially among the undeserved populations, the board of directors of the Caring for Colorado Foundation is pleased to partner with NECALG to provide non-emergent medical transportation in Northeastern Colorado.

Because of the distance required to travel to medical facilities for appointments and medical treatment, the following objectives were established for the Caring for Colorado Grant:

—County Express will provide transportation to a minimum of 25 clients from their home communities to the Regional Medical Center in Sterling to receive dialysis, chemotherapy or radiation services. These services will be provided in a culturally appropriate manner and in a time frame that is consistent with the needs of the individuals served.

—County Express will provide non-emergent medical transportation to a minimum of 100 clients in order to access medical services which are unavailable in the community. This includes trips to Children’s Hospital and other front range medical facilities, as well as transportation to regionally available eye care, dental care, and other medical services.

—In order to insure ongoing needs assessment, program development and funding support, a Non Emergent Medical Transportation Advisory Committee will be developed in the region. Representatives will be sought from all six counties in the region. Representatives will be solicited from Banner Health, County Express, Social Services, Mental Health, grassroots organizations, the faith-based community and other interested community members.

The advisory committee will assist County Express in conducting a yearly needs assessment concerning the availability of non-emergent medical transportation and will note any gaps in service. The advisory committee will provide input into the development of a plan of action to fill any gaps that are noted as part of the yearly assessment.

Dr. Scott Faulkner noted, “the only dialysis facility in Northeastern Colorado requires a 90-mile round trip, three days a week. A client traveling 90 miles a day, three days a week would travel a minimum of 15,120 miles in a year. You are exhausted when you are done. It is a huge burden not only on the only on the patient, but also on family members.”

Executive Director Larry Worth noted, from January to December 2009, County Express provided 124,861 trips for the residents of Northeastern Colorado. A minimum of 9,309 trips (7.5 percent of the trips provided by County Express) were specifically for non-emergent medical transportation to medical sites in Sterling, Northeastern Colorado, Greeley, Fort Collins, Loveland and the Front Range.

Following is a breakdown of the total number of trips provided to medical sites by the demand response transit system:

—Medicaid reimbursement, 2,379 trips or 25.56 percent.

—Banner Health contract, 1,486 trips or 15.96 percent.

—All other sources, 5,444 trips or 58.48 percent. —Total, 9,309 trips.

Worth continued, “We are pleased that the Caring for Colorado Foundation will partner with County Express to assist with non-emergent medical transportation for clients who are unable to meet the restrictions or the income guidelines of Medicaid, who are unable to pay the established rate for County Express, or who can not afford the $120-140 per month co-pay required of Health Ride.”

The Caring for Colorado Foundation fills gaps caused by limitations form other funding sources.