20 Jan Community Foundation to provide Grant for Healthcare Support
MCPHERSON, KAN. —- The McPherson County Community Foundation approved a grant request made by McPherson Hospital, Monday, January 17. Up to $150,000 will be made available to cover out-of-pocket outpatient costs related to COVID-19 and is set to take effect immediately.
With the recent explosion of COVID-19 cases, McPherson Hospital has at times reached capacity to treat those needing care. The hospital came to the Foundation to ask for funding to help specifically with preventing inpatient COVID cases. Remdesivir, an antiviral drug, has proven effective as a treatment for the Omicron variant. The drug, however, has some limitations 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.”
Approval for outpatient use by additional insurers could be a possibility in the coming weeks. However, the hospital and its patients would benefit greatly 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.”
If the Remdesivir treatments are not covered by insurance, the total cost of the three visit treatment regimen that would be passed on to a patient could be as much as $3,000. Ken Hoover, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy at McPherson Hospital says they are looking at all options to provide appropriate and affordable healthcare to county residents.
The hospital has been in contact with Senators Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran’s offices and says that they are engaged in pushing through the eventual approval of the treatment in an outpatient setting.
“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.”
The funds for the grant were made possible by the Kansas Health Foundation Public Health Fund and various donor-advised funds administered by the McPherson County Community Foundation.
In 2001, the McPherson County Community Foundation (MCCF) was established to build charitable endowments and serve donors. MCCF strives to help donors create funds that reflect their charitable goals. Through long-term investment of capital given by individuals, organizations, and corporations, MCCF makes grants to enhance the quality of life in the community. Grants may benefit youth, education, arts and culture, human services, health care, or other charitable purposes as designated by donors. People give through, not to, the community foundation.