as reported by Sister Rosanne Popp, MD
Mr. M is middle aged and homeless. While taking his medical history, I found out that he is an engineer and until recently had a job that provided health insurance. Without insurance he could no longer afford his medications for his hypertension or his chronic asthma.
He was trying to find a job, but each time he applied he ended up failing the health requirements. At times he was able to scrape up enough money to pay for an inhaler (rescue inhalers are about $40.00 each and prevention inhalers are close to $200.00 monthly). But if he took the medication to help with his asthma then his blood pressure would be elevated. He was never able to afford both medications at the same time.
At St. Mary’s, we were able to provide a physical exam, draw basic lab work and provide him with a prescription for a $4.00 blood pressure medication. We also enrolled him in the medication assistance program so he could get his two types of inhalers for free. And as luck would have it (or the grace of God) we had a sample of each type of inhaler that we could give him until his medication arrives.
Mr. M not only left with some much needed health care and medications, he also left with the possibility of being able to be gainfully employed because he would be able to pass health requirements for a job.