While legislators battle over the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansions, Alabama may already have one system in place that meets and exceeds many of the state’s healthcare needs.
In Alabama, Gov. Bentley and other state lawmakers want to reject the ACA’s expansion, creating a hot button topic throughout Alabama. The governor recently referred to the expansion as “a federal government dependency program for the uninsured,” who are stuck in the gap between those currently on Medicaid and those who can afford private insurance.
However, a Medicaid expansion could result in “30,700 new jobs, [a] $2.1 billion economic boost, plus 500 lives saved every year,” according to the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Parker Griffith.
But there is at least one effective healthcare system in Alabama currently serving those in the gap. Last year, Victory Health Partners, based in Mobile, provided medical, dental and vision care to 15,800 patients in their area, in addition to administering $4.4 million in prescription medications thanks to partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.
Victory Health’s services average a bit over $70 per patient file as of last year. The organization is a non-profit, providing healthcare for low-income families without using government funding.
The organization provides the medical care that so many need, and Victory Health’s office is also equipped to perform vision and dental visits, also, the latter of which benefits any with periodontal diseases, as up to 74% of Americans suffer from at least one of these conditions. Vision Health also has a network of over 150 specialists who care for patients with a modest co-pay consistent with those charged by Victory Health.
While the group has worked to save the lives of those who can’t afford their own healthcare, they do face challenges when it comes to patient care. Area hospitals, for instance, are reluctant to donate beds to those patients who are in need and receiving their care from Victory Health. One solution is to offer a tax credit or deduction to those physicians who are willing to work with or donate care to Victory Health and its patients.
As the topic of healthcare coverage provided by the government continues to be a source of debate for politicians, Alabama residents are hopeful that more organizations will revolutionize patient care the way that Victory Health has done in their city.