When the Medical Society of Sedgwick County (MSSC) took Project Access under its wing, it ensured that there would be an adequate number of doctors available for participation.
In 1999, as Project Access became operational, Dr. Michael Bates served as the board president of Central Plains for two years. Eventually, the leadership role was passed on to Christopher Moeller, MD, who started as chairman of the Physician’s Participation Committee and served as board president until 2009. David Grainger, MD took the reigns as Central Plains’ president until 2011. Thomas Bloxham, MD is the organization’s current board president.
Dr. Moeller first heard of Project Access in the 1999 when Dr. Uhlig presented the Project Access concept to the MSSC board.
“Under the auspices of the MSSC, a community-wide physician meeting introduced the project,” recalls Dr. Moeller. “It was at this meeting that I told Dr. Uhlig ‘I think this is the best project our Medical Society has ever been involved in as long as I’ve been here in Wichita. This is something I want to strongly support.’
The MSSC’s most important task was signing up physicians. “In our first year, we got about 30% of the physicians in Sedgwick County signed up, said Dr. Moeller. “We thought that, out of a Medical Society of 850 physicians, 30% was quite good — especially when you’re talking about a new project.” Today, about 60% of physicians participate in Project Access.
What makes Project Access most acceptable to physicians is that every doctor sees a fair share of uninsured patients — no more than 20 specialty patients or 10 primary care patients annually, unless of course they desire to sign up for more.
Furthermore, when participating physicians receive a referral, they know that the patient’s income has been evaluated and that the patient is experiencing difficult life circumstances. Participating providers have a phone number to call with questions or needs for their patients. Project Access staff developed a new software program Charisma Salus™ , which tracks all the program’s patient and provider data.