Thousands of Central Floridians lack health insurance and often go without important medical care and prescriptions because they cannot shoulder the costs.
To help serve this population, AdventHealth on Thursday opened a lung clinic in Kissimmee to provide free care and medications to uninsured adults suffering from bronchitis, asthma, COPD and similar conditions.
It is the third AdventHealth clinic of its kind in Central Florida.
Since opening the first lung clinic in Apopka in 2013 and a second at East Orlando last year, AdventHealth has provided more than 700 uninsured patients with free outpatient care, medication, disease management and pulmonary rehabilitation.
The total value of the volunteer labor, donated medications and equipment at the lung clinics: more than $4 million.
There is a great need in Central Florida for free health care for those who do not qualify for Medicaid and cannot afford insurance. Often, these people end up in the emergency department because they have nowhere else to turn. They are given prescriptions to help regulate and treat their conditions, but then cannot afford to buy the medication, said Ed Fluker, an Administrative Director of respiratory care with AdventHealth who also volunteers at the clinics. These clinics are vital, and provide critical care and medications to people who would otherwise go without.
For patients such as Carmen Santiago, who had been driving from her Osceola County home to AdventHealth lung clinic at East Orlando, the Kissimmee location brings vital services close to home.
Im so thankful, Santiago said.
Data shows AdventHealth lung clinics for the uninsured help reduce the overall cost of health care for the patients served.
Data from our Apopka lung clinic shows we reduced the number of emergency department visits and hospital admissions from this patient population by more than half, said Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson, AdventHealth Vice President of community impact. As we strive to improve the quality of health care while also reducing the cost, it is important that we bring these services out of the hospital and into the community, and provide the most appropriate care in a cost-effective setting.
Another added benefit of providing continuity of care for these patients a decrease in work absenteeism.
AdventHealth lung clinics have limited operating hours. To schedule an appointment or learn more about the services, call Call407-889-1040.