Project Access is a specialty care referral network administered by the PCC. It is composed of a dedicated group of health care specialists, local hospitals, and diagnostic facilities that participate in a coordinated effort to provide specialty care to low-income, uninsured community members. Project Access volunteers help these individuals gain timely access to needed specialty care, potentially preventing more serious medical problems or complications, avoiding acute hospitalizations, and reducing expensive medical bills.
Patients participating in Project Access are referred from Montgomery Cares safety-net clinics and continue to receive primary care through their home clinic. In FY 2015, Project Access served a total of 2,480 specialty care referrals.
Project Access receives referral requests from more than 15 safety-net clinics and secures timely and appropriate access to specialty care services for patients with the highest priority needs. Project Access relies on the contributions of a dedicated network of approximately 100 local specialists who volunteer their time to see low-income, uninsured patients. We also partner with all five hospitals in Montgomery County to schedule surgeries and other hospital-based procedures.
Project Access Needs Volunteer Specialists
Over 60,000 low-income, uninsured patients live in Montgomery County, and that number continues to grow. The overall demand for specialty care services in this population is far greater than what Project Access can presently meet. Uninsured patients who do not receive timely access to specialty care services often suffer complications requiring more extensive care or hospital admission. Local specialists can help to alleviate this situation by committing to see a few uninsured patients each. The need for volunteer specialists is especially acute in the areas of urology, orthopedic surgery, gastroenterology, and general surgery.
Project Access provides referrals and care coordination for low-income, uninsured patients in need of specialty care. The specific services Project Access provides vary based on the specialty areas of the participating volunteers and may include:
- General surgery
- General Surgery
- Physical therapy
Project Access staff evaluate each referral and arrange specialty care based on the urgency and severity of the case.
Project Access patients must be referred by a primary care provider. Most patients are referred from Montgomery Cares clinics. Eligible patients:
- Live in Montgomery County
- Are 18 or older
- Are uninsured
- Have a low income (below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level)
Project Access is funded in part by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and supplemented by resources donated by local hospitals, services provided by volunteer physicians, and generous donations from foundations and individuals.