Boston, MA – Community Catalyst, a national consumer health advocacy organization, announces funding opportunities in Alabama, Georgia, and Nevada in an ongoing effort to improve health care access for the underinsured. Through an initiative of the Hospital Accountability Project, Community Catalyst seeks to fund advocate-led collaboratives to work on a range of policy, organizing, and education activities that benefit the underinsured in these states.
“As health care prices continue to rise, more families than ever are finding that their insurance fails them when they need it most,” said Renée Markus Hodin, Project Director. “Insurance premiums, copays, and deductibles are on the rise. As a result, fewer employers are able to offer health insurance. The result is that consumers, even those who have coverage, are bearing more of the financial burden for their care than ever before—a burden that many of them cannot afford in these challenging economic times.”
The funding opportunities come as hospitals face deeper scrutiny from a wide array of sources—the IRS, members of Congress, and the national media among them—for engaging in egregious practices that push families into financial ruin. These practices include selling off patient’s medical bills to third parties that charge exorbitant rates of interest or requiring sick patients to make upfront payments for necessary services, such as chemotherapy. Aside from the financial consequences, these practices dissuade many patients from seeking necessary medical care in an effective, timely fashion.
The Hospital Accountability Project works with health care advocates to remove these barriers to care for the underinsured. The Project currently focuses on 15 states that were part of a lawsuit against the Tenet Healthcare Corporation, a national for-profit hospital company. The lawsuit alleged illegal billing and collection tactics against the uninsured and underinsured. As part of the settlement, the court awarded Community Catalyst funds to provide grants in each state to attack the problems facing the underinsured that gave rise to the original litigation.
The Hospital Accountability Project promotes changes in policies and practices of individual hospitals and hospital systems as well as in local and state-level public policy. These activities are aimed at addressing the issues of medical debt for the underinsured in the states where Tenet hospitals were located. To date, Community Catalyst has awarded grants in California, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas and is working with collaboratives in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina to launch projects in those states. Proposals to engage in this work are now being accepted for Alabama, Georgia and Nevada.
For details on the Project and to view the Request for Preliminary Proposals, please click here.
About Community Catalyst:
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to making quality, affordable health care accessible to everyone. Since 1997, Community Catalyst has worked to build consumer and community leadership to transform the American health system. With the belief that this transformation will happen when consumers are fully engaged and have an organized voice, Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone—especially vulnerable members of society. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org.