By DOUG NADVORNICK • Spokane Public Radio •
The HSSA is giving $30,000 to another successful existing program: the Spokane Prescription Access Network. It’s part of a statewide organization called the Prescription Drug Assistance Foundation, founded by retired Spokane physician Dr. Sam Selinger.
Its executive director, Kelly Armstrong, says the foundation was authorized by the legislature to provide free help to people who can’t get the prescription drugs they need. Before the Affordable Care Act took effect, she says, the main customers had low incomes. They were people for whom Medicaid paid for their prescriptions. These days ACA covers them through subsidized health plans. Now Armstrong’s customers come from different demographics.
“Higher income populations. Those that have plans that they have taken out through the health care exchanges with the very high deductibles and co-pays making it difficult to access any services, those people that chose not to take out a plan because they just couldn’t afford the monthly premiums and then we’ve seen a real shift in our Medicare customers, our older and disabled population,” Armstrong said.
In making the grant, the HSSA cited the high value that Armstrong’s organization provides in terms of number of people helped per dollars spent.