Fri, 20 May, 2005

While Louisiana Wrestles with Healthcare Funding, There is a Unique Program in Central Louisiana

Alexandria LA - The Cenla Medication Access Program (CMAP) has been awarded the Rural Health Program of the Year by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). The award is being presented in New Orleans on May 20, 2005 during the 28th NRHA Annual Conference, the largest national meeting devoted to addressing rural health issues and the educational needs of those who practice, work and live in rural areas.

CMAP is now operating the largest privately funded medication access program serving a rural area in the United States. CMAP is funded and run by The Rapides Foundation.

CMAP is proud to be a part of helping improve the health and well-being of the communities of Central Louisiana. With 16,000 people receiving medications, over 500,000 prescriptions filled, $30 million saved and 200 caring physicians, CMAP continues to work to reach its goal of meeting the healthcare needs of Central Louisiana.

CMAP provides prescription medications to people who cannot afford them, and also provides medication education about the importance of appropriate medication usage. CMAP uses a three-component approach to help individuals in a nine parish/county service area receive their needed prescription medications.

The Foundation funded and began operating CMAP in May of 2001. “Supplying medication to area residents on a fixed or low income is giving them a better chance for a healthy life. We believe that improving their health improves the health of the entire community," says Joe Rosier, President and CEO of The Rapides Foundation.

CMAP began with an innovative joint public/private venture with the region's public hospital-Huey P. Long Medical Center.

Three components make up the CMAP program. Each component takes a different approach so that CMAP is able to reach as many people in rural Central Louisiana as possible to help them receive their needed prescription medications. The components are (1) a patient enrollment program at the region's public hospital, Huey P. Long Medical Center-England Airpark Outpatient Pharmacy, (2) the CMAP Card System, and (3) the Patient Assistance Program (PAP).

The CMAP Card System provides chronic prescription medications for people who cannot afford them. The goal is to provide low-income residents who fall below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level with appropriate medication and education about their prescriptions. These are people who have little or no insurance and don't qualify for Medicaid. Those eligible for this component of CMAP must be a resident of one of the parishes/counties within the CMAP area which include: Allen, Avoyelles, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides and Winn. CMAP provides qualifying patients a prescription card that will allow them to fill three prescriptions per month at any pharmacy at an $8.00 co-pay per prescription.

Although the first two components of the program were helping many residents of rural Central Louisiana get their prescriptions filled, there were still a large number of patients who need assistance but don't meet the requirements of the first two components. So a third component of CMAP, the Patient Assistance Program (PAP) was added. PAP provides client assistance to physicians in Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn Parishes. PAP works through a group of Foundation-hired community workers (PAP specialists) who assist the rural physicians to get their patients enrolled in manufacturers' prescription drug benefit programs. Close to 200 local physicians refer to the PAP program any patients they know or suspect may not be able to afford their medications. They are always consulted before any action is taken and they must give approval for any medication request.

For more information about the CMAP program contact Wendy Roy, Program Manager at 318-443-7494 or e-mail Print

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