Continuity of care is a vital part of recovery from opioid addiction. Accessing treatment can be particularly difficult for patients living in rural areas, where resources are not readily available. To bring care closer, UPMC leveraged state and federal support to outfit a mobile unit to travel to these areas and bring medication-assisted treatment to patients.
Each week, a clinical team from the Center for Addiction Recovery at UPMC drives the mobile unit to one of several underserved rural locations in Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, and York counties, helping to fill gaps in access to addiction treatment. UPMC outreach coordinators work with community partners to schedule stops throughout the region, such as at county libraries and community centers.
Being homebound creates huge barriers for patients with chronic diseases or mobility issues. Frequently, they can find it difficult to access primary care services, and are often not seen by a doctor unless they are taken to a hospital emergency department.
UPMC’s Home Visit Program is an innovative, comprehensive, patient-centered approach that responds to the medical needs of homebound individuals, while addressing social determinants of health. Through regularly scheduled visits, UPMC brings primary care to patients in their homes, allowing them to keep up with their wellness visits, follow-up appointments, blood work, and vaccinations. With consistent access to basic primary care and regular monitoring by professionals, these individuals can more effectively manage their chronic illnesses and overall health, which helps stabilize their conditions and decrease hospital admissions.
Homelessness continues to be a serious health issue in communities across the central Pennsylvania region. UPMC Carlisle, UPMC Harrisburg, UPMC Community Osteopathic, and UPMC West Shore are collaborating with community partners to connect unsheltered individuals with long-term care through the street medicine team.
The team delivers care tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of those without a home, and brings it directly to them in their own environment. By visiting these people where they are — in alleyways, under bridges, or within urban encampments — and interacting with them on their own terms, UPMC helps to reduce or eliminate the barriers that stand between these individuals and their care.
UPMC is committed to treating all people with dignity and respect, and takes steps to communicate effectively with all patients, visitors, and guests. UPMC hospitals in central Pennsylvania use qualified sign and spoken language interpreters, interpretation services by phone or video, and written information in the preferred language, all free of charge.
UPMC hospitals in central Pennsylvania provide insurance enrollment specialists and financial aid counselors at community-based sites to help uninsured adults and children enroll in insurance plans they qualify for. The team assists both patients and community members by screening them for eligible benefits and helping them apply for medical assistance or Marketplace coverage. Counselors can also help start the financial aid process for those who are not eligible for benefits, but in need of medical services. UPMC specialists also educate patients on how to use their insurance, report any changes that could impact coverage, and maintain their coverage.
Every three years, UPMC works with local community partners and public health experts to identify actions and plans to improve community health in what is known as a Community Health Needs Assessment. Thousands of area residents and hundreds of community organizations help to identify our communities’ most pressing health needs.
For more information on our impact in our communities, download the Regional Progress Report for central Pennsylvania here.