HOUSTON, Texas – Texas has the highest number of uninsured people in the U.S. The uninsured rate in southwest Houston alone is 45%, that’s five times higher than the rest of the country, which stands at 9%.
The University of Houston hopes to bridge the health disparity gap for the underserved with its new Direct Primary Care Clinic on the campus of Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. UH first approached Memorial Hermann last year about the partnership.
“For $60 a month, you get access to all the primary care you need. There’s no other option in the city that does this for the uninsured,” said Chief Community Health Officer for Memorial Hermann Health Care System Carol Paret.
The $60 monthly fee covers a broad spectrum of medical care, including preventative care, care for acute illness, telehealth services, basic office procedures, and discounted laboratory testing.
“This is designed to keep people healthy. To keep them from getting sick so they end up in the emergency room or hospital,” said founding dean of UH’s College of Medicine, Dr. Stephen Spann.
Addressing health issues early is critical before they become bigger problems, potentially leading to more expensive treatments.
Additionally, it gives patients same-day access.
“Not access in three weeks and those things are huge to this population,” said Paret.