– Schedule long-overdue vision and dental exams
– Find affordable transportation to medical appointments and the grocery store
– Obtain coverage for nutritional drinks needed to help him gain much-needed weight
But he faced some seemingly insurmountable barriers. At 64 years old and in poor health, he had been walking the five miles from the home in Ashland that he shares with his elderly mother to Framingham Union Hospital for his medical appointments – and depleting the supply of oxygen from the tank he needs to use. His despair mounted and he reflected, “I was sick and ready to admit myself to the hospital. I didn’t have a ride from the doctor to get back home, so I walked the five miles. I kept hoping someone would notice me walking but no one did.”
After reaching out to James to assess his needs, care coordinator Jenna from Riverside’s Behavioral Health Community Partners program moved immediately to secure Medicaid-covered transportation to his medical appointments through the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority, and James now independently schedules his MART rides. Jenna also helped him fill out the Dial-A-Ride application to get affordable transportation to local stores and parks. And he now has an appointment with an eye doctor to resolve his vision problems.
Jenna also researched options and discovered that under certain circumstances – and James qualified as he was extremely underweight at just 102 pounds – his MassHealth insurance would pay for nutritional drinks to provide the calories and protein he needed to gain weight. James receives regular deliveries of the drinks, has regained his appetite, and his formerly 102-pound frame is a far healthier 139 pounds.
James has new optimism and energy, and can get to the services he needs to reach his goals for health and wellness. Jenna noted, “During my time working with James, I have watched him grow into a determined self-advocate. He is driven to succeed and continues to overcome obstacles standing between him and his goals.” And James summed up his new outlook for Jenna: “I was so depressed. Then you called me, and it was like a miracle. I am doing so good right now, really good. I hope it can stay this good!”
Riverside Community Partners is part of Behavioral Health Community Partners (BH CP), a program to help eligible MassHealth members navigate the entire system of care, including medical, behavioral health, social, and long-term supports and services.