Tue, 30 April, 2024

CMAP Helps With Prescriptions

CMAP Helps With Prescriptions

Need help paying for your prescriptions? Cenla Medication Access Program can help

The Cenla Medication Access Program doesn’t want anyone to have to skip their medicine in order to make ends meet.

The Rapides Foundation created CMAP in 2001 in response to Community Health Needs Assessments showing that the high cost of prescription medications greatly impacted many Central Louisiana adults – creating a barrier to adequate and effective healthcare.

CMAP helps remove that barrier by offering free or reduced-cost prescriptions to eligible residents. The program also includes education for clients about the importance of appropriate medication usage.

“Every day in our offices, our clients tell us about the struggles they’ve faced,” said Wendy Roy, CMAP Executive Director. “They’re not able to purchase the medications they need. Or, at times, they’re trying to stretch their medication longer because it costs so much.”

CMAP adjusted its eligibility guidelines to help more people get the medication they need. The updated eligibility guidelines require participants:

  • Must live in Louisiana.
  • Must be uninsured or have Medicare.
  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • And income must be at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Under the income guidelines, a family of four can have an income of $93,600 per year/$7,800 per month or less and qualify for CMAP. A two-person household can qualify if they have an income of $61,320 per year/$5,110 per month or less.

“If you do not have health insurance or if you have Medicare and meet the income guidelines, you are eligible for CMAP,” said Crystal Watts, CMAP Patient Assistance Specialist and Office Supervisor. “We encourage you to call us to see if you qualify. The application process is easy. All you have to do is fill out an application, provide income documentation and provide a copy of your photo ID.”

Once their application is approved, clients are eligible for CMAP services for one year.

Though CMAP administers additional Foundation programs, it focuses largely on medication access – and the program has continued to grow and evolve to meet the needs of the Central Louisiana community. Today, CMAP is available statewide, providing free medication to eligible individuals through its Central Fill Pharmacy. In addition, CMAP partners with Rapides Regional Medical Center to provide free or low-cost medications to patients who visit the hospital’s HP Long Outpatient clinic.

To date, CMAP has helped approximately 20,000 people across Louisiana get free or reduced-cost medications to help maintain their health. There are 950 active clients, with more than 1,500 physicians referring their patients to the program.

“Over the years we’ve seen patients experience frequent hospitalizations and frequent ER visits because they haven’t been able to regularly take their medication,” Watts said. “But, after they start the CMAP program, those hospitalizations and ER visits decrease.”

CMAP employs Patient Assistant Program Specialists in most Central Louisiana parishes to work directly with clients close to home, which helps reduce transportation issues, another common barrier to healthcare access. Those same specialists also work closely with rural clinics and primary care practices.

“We are able to offer CMAP services through partnerships and contracts with several of the major pharmaceutical companies,” Watts said. “With their help, we can provide many of these medications free of charge.

“When talking to a patient, you see the relief that they experience when they find out we can help them get their medication – at little or no cost. It’s just indescribable. It’s just a joy to be able to help them.”

CMAP offers benefits to providers as well.

“Our specialists are trained to work with providers,” Roy said. “That means decreased wait time for medication delivery to clients and decreased paperwork for physicians.”

CMAP clients and their physicians also have access to centralized records that allow pharmacist counseling for drug interactions and dosing requirements, and patient-specific bottle labeling that helps with compliance.

“CMAP cares about its community,” Roy said. “We care about the individuals that we serve and we don’t want people to struggle with the high cost of prescription medications. We want you to know that we are here to help and we want to help relieve that burden if we can.”

For more information about CMAP, or to apply, call 1-888-443-7494 or visit www.cmaprx.org.



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