FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Dr. Katherine Johnson of the 'Mountain View Medical Center Eye Clinic' has noticed an increase in the amount of money patients are paying out of pocket towards medical bills.
In order to help people cover their bills, and still have access to health care, Johnson has created 'Karma-Care'.
The locally funded program is directed at patients who fall into the gap between qualifying for Medicaid, and having adequate funds to pay for medical bills.
Providers of Karma-Care refer patients to the program where, once enrolled, those patients can volunteer at any of the participating non-profit organizations.
KarmaCare will then pay for seventy-five percent of eligible bills, up to 4-thousand dollars for a 12 month period.
Dr. Johnson says that although this will help the patients and the community, it's also just a temporary fix for a broken system.
Dr. Katherine Johnson; Founder, KarmaCare >> "So karmaCare is a 'giving circle'. The patient goes and does volunteer work in the community with non-profits, make a difference, and then the community fundraises so that we can help those people pay down their medical bills, continue access to medical care, continue seeing their providers, continue to be able to get the care that sometimes is very difficult when they have large balances when they can't make their payment plans; you lose access to care. The idea is the whole system keeps going. We all know that the healthcare system is 'fairly broken'. This isn't a pure fix, this is a bandaid in a broken system. In a system that is probably never gonna be all the way fixed. This is a solid bandaid for this group of people."
For more information on how to participate in the Karma-Care program go to 'karma care fairbanks