Florida Hospital has opened its third free clinic for patients with lung problems.
The Kissimmee clinic is now an option for uninsured patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD) disease and bronchitis. The other clinics are in East Orlando and Apopka.
The clinic provides free medications for patients leaving the hospital.
“We work with several pharmaceutical companies or partner with them to get the medications people need for a full year at no cost,” said Ed Fluker, administrative director of respiratory care at Florida Hospital Orlando. “Which really is a blessing because many of these patients need medications that cost between $600 and $800 per month.”
Officials said $4 million in free care has been provided at the clinics so far.
“We were able to show a reduction of 52 percent in their emergency room visits and 58 percent in their hospital admissions,” Fluker said. “So that’s really saying a lot about how we’re improving the health and quality of life for the patient, but there is a benefit to the hospital as well as the community.”
Reporter Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.