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Garrett Memorial operates Caring Program

Medical help provided to those in need

For the Cumberland Times-News Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Officials at Garrett County Memorial Hospital are reminding members of the community that a Caring Program exists at the hospital for individuals with difficulty affording their hospital care.

“The Caring Program at Garrett County Memorial Hospital is designed to assist the members of our community who need medical care but do not have the financial resources to pay for their services,” said Kathy Rhoden, director of patient financial services at the hospital.

While the hospital had a long-standing history of helping uninsured patients obtain the health care services they needed, a revised program called the Caring Program was implemented in 2006. The program offers financial assistance to un-derprivileged, underemployed and/or underinsured patients who are having difficulty providing themselves with life’s necessities, in-cluding food, clothing, shelter and health care.

A report prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that 12.5 percent of Garrett County households are living below the poverty level, making health care unaffordable to them. Through the Caring Program, eligible patients meeting 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines can qualify for 100 percent financial assistance.

For example, a family size of one can make up to $21,660 per year to qualify for 100 percent financial assistance. A sliding fee allows for partial assistance to qualified patients who are at 201 to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

“Each application for the Caring Program is individually and thoughtfully evaluated for eligibility. We take into consideration special or unusual financial circumstances in our final eligibility determination,” said Rhoden. “Our Caring Program allows us to assure access to care by those in need and demonstrate that we are a health care facility that cares for patients in need, regardless of their ability to pay.”

For more information, call 301-533-4209 or visit the website www.gcmh.com.

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