Foundation helping McPherson Hospital pay out-of-network costs for COVID patients

McPherson Hospital in McPherson, Kansas
McPherson Hospital in McPherson, Kansas(KWCH)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:16 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The McPherson County Community Foundation announced a decision attended to ease a considerable financial burden associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation approved a grant request made by McPherson Hospital from which up to $150,000 will be available to cover out-of-pocket outpatient costs related to COVID-19.

The community foundation said, “with the recent explosion of COVID-19 cases, McPherson Hospital has at times reached capacity to treat those needing care.”

McPherson Hospital specifically asked the foundation to help with preventing inpatient COVID cases. The foundation brought up the antiviral drug, Remdesivir, a treatment, it says, is effective for the omicron variant. That drug, however, has limitation on how it can be administered.

“Remdesivir has been used to treat hospitalized COVID patients for some time, but Medicare is currently the only insurer that will reimburse the drug for outpatients,” Chris Stipe, President/CEO of McPherson Hospital said. “If the hospital gives the Remdesivir for outpatients now, we risk not being reimbursed for  the drug by most, if not all commercial insurance companies.”

The McPherson County Community Foundation said approval for outpatient use by additional insurers could be a possibility in coming weeks, but there would be a great benefit if to the hospital and its patients if access to the treatment was given as soon as possible.

“The hospital has been at capacity for most of the last several weeks,” Stipe said. “Treating vulnerable COVID positive patients with outpatient drugs before they become severely ill is one of the few ways we can avoid admission to the hospital.”

The McPherson County Community Foundation said the Kansas Health Foundation Public Health Fund made funds for the grant possible, along with “various donor-advised funds administered by [the foundation].”

“This is why the Community Foundation is here,” Trenton Ruxlow, Chair of the Community Foundation and financial advisor at Edward Jones said. “I would like to thank our healthcare workers for everything that they have provided to our community and continue to provide.”

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