METRO announces $660,485 in free healthcare given through Copay it Forward

METRO announces $660,485 in free healthcare given through Copay it Forward

A doctor holding a child with a doll
Photo credit: Ysanne Taylor for Metro Inclusive Health

One of the area’s most impactful organizations is continuing to provide incredible health resources for people in the Tampa Bay Area. Metro Inclusive Health announced this week that its Copay It Forward program contributed more than $600,000 in free healthcare to uninsured patients in 2022, a new record for the life-changing directive.

The “Copay it Forward” program channels the power of insured patients to help knock down barriers to quality healthcare with essential, and often life-saving, services. As Tampa Bay’s population grows, so do the area’s health inequities. With the rising cost of living, many locals are finding access to quality healthcare increasingly out of reach. 

Just by using a designated partner pharmacy to fill their prescriptions, insured patients helped Metro Inclusive Health deliver $660,485 in free healthcare to uninsured patients at the organization’s four Tampa Bay locations in St. Pete, Tampa, Clearwater and New Port Richey and via mobile and telehealth. The 2022 figure far surpasses the 2021 total of $566,950 by just shy of $100,000.

“A community’s quality of life is directly affected by access to quality healthcare,” said Chief Marketing & Experience Officer, Brian Bailey. “The rising cost of healthcare and other needs has put livable wages under stress, which could stunt our area’s growing popularity as a place to live, work and play. When you’re working just to ‘live,’ ‘play’ becomes much less attainable.” 

METRO keeps St. Pete’s health in good hands

An adult and a child at a doctor's office
Photo credit: Ysanne Taylor for Metro Inclusive Health

In addition to primary care, METRO provides over 100 services and programs focused on the health and wellness of our Tampa Bay-area community including HIV care and prevention, mental health, vaccine access, pediatric and prenatal care and prescription drug assistance. 

With 30 years in the Tampa Bay community, Metro Inclusive Health remains a locally operated beacon of health equity. Each state-of-the-art location provides the convenience of onsite labs and pharmacies, same-day test results and visits along with access to the most modern technology and providers with the highest level of medical certifications. 

METRO is also up for a 2023 Watermark WAVE Award, an honor given to those who show excellence in the central Florida LGBTQ+ community. You can vote for them here.

Copay it Forward uses federal programs for local health

Copay it Forward is powered by the Federal Health Resources & Services Administration’s 340b program. Non-profit healthcare organizations are able to purchase prescription drugs at a discount as a healthcare safety measure for uninsured or under-insured patients and the organizations, like Metro Inclusive Health, that serve them. Drug manufacturers are required to participate in 340b in exchange for substantial prescription drug reimbursements via the federal taxpayer-funded Medicare program. 

With a longstanding commitment to putting those funds back to work in our communities through healthcare services and job creation, Metro Inclusive Health took the initiative to educate patients of their direct impact by branding its 340b participation as “Copay it Forward.” 

Learn more about Metro Inclusive Health at metrotampabay.org.

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