Virginia Coordinated Care explained, from VCU press release of 12/5/2000 :

VCU to provide comprehensive health care for uninsured


Virginia coordinated care program uses manages-care model


RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University has launched a managed-care program that will provide comprehensive health care to uninsured residents of Greater Richmond.

To qualify for coverage, enrollees must complete a financial statement and provide proof of all income. VCC members cannot have any other health insurance and must not be eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Medical Services Insurance Program, known as CMSIP. VCC applicants may undergo a financial screening at several locations: MCV Hospitals Main Hospital Cashier's Office, Main Hospital Admissions Office, Randolph-Minor Hall Room 103, Hayes E. Willis Health Center of South Richmond and the10th Street Clinic. Or call the VCC Financial Counseling Office at 828-0966 with questions about eligibility.

Virginia Coordinated Care for the Uninsured (VCC) is a joint effort among the VCU Health System, the city of Richmond and community primary-care physicians to provide eligible, low-income patients with access to physician and hospital services. About 15,000 people living in Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield counties and the cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell are expected to initially participate in the program.

VCC is not an insurance program, but will focus on preventive care to improve the overall health of uninsured patients using the VCU Health System, providing a continuum of care to patients who often only see a doctor when they are very sick. Often, these same patients rely on the emergency room for routine health care that could be more efficiently offered by primary-care doctors.
Most of the services will be provided at VCU's Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and clinics. However, 20 percent of services will be provided by primary-care doctors in the local community. This year, the VCU Health System expects to provide more than $99.4 million of health care to indigent patients throughout the Commonwealth.

"Virginia Coordinated Care represents an opportunity to offer a new model of care to the uninsured patients of the VCU Health System," said Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., executive vice president of the clinical enterprise for the VCU Health System. "The VCU Health System currently provides a disproportionate amount of care to Virginia’s uninsured. Approximately one-third of all care for uninsured patients in Virginia is delivered on VCU's medical campus. While this is a laudable mission for our health system, it is an expensive one."
VCC requires participants to choose a primary-care physician, or PCP. That PCP will provide all routine preventive care, treat illnesses, prescribe medications and admit patients to the hospital. When needed, the primary-care doctor will make referrals and coordinate access to MCV Hospitals' specialists. VCC members must always contact their PCP before seeking services from another health-care provider, except in emergencies. VCC will cover only inpatient care provided at MCV Hospitals.

"In the past, many of our uninsured patients have used the emergency room as a primary-care site, and they've used specialty-care physicians as primary-care doctors," said Rachel Reed, M.S.P.H., J.D., director of Virginia Coordinated Care. "We believe VCC will improve the health status of our indigent patients and provide more efficient use of our health-care services."


About VCU and the VCU Medical Center:
Virginia Commonwealth University is the largest university in Virginia and ranks among the top 100 universities in the country in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls nearly 32,000 students in 205 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-five of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 15 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.