08/12/14 — WATCH taking on new patients

View Archive

WATCH taking on new patients

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 12, 2014 1:46 PM

WATCH, or Wayne Action Teams for Community Health, is once again accepting new patients and is even considering serving people who are covered under the lower rungs of the federal Affordable Care Act.

WATCH, a non-profit health care option for uninsured Wayne County residents, had stopped accepting new patients several months ago because it was operating at capacity.

The program will be able to add new patients because it has received some additional funding and had added an additional provider, Wayne Memorial Hospital President and CEO Bill Paugh said during this morning's meeting of the Wayne Health Corp. Board.

"We are in the process of ramping back up," Paugh said. "Traditionally, WATCH has just taken care of the uninsured. There was some discussion at the last board meeting that some of the programs under the Affordable Care Act that for primarily care those folks are basically uninsured.

"WATCH is looking at trying to provide coverage to those folks. We are going to take another look at that. They are not going to close the doors at this point."

The Affordable Care Act plans do provide catastrophic coverage, but in some of the lower-level plans for primary care the average deductible is $6,000, he said.

For practical purposes that means those people are uninsured, board Chairman Ray McDonald Jr. said.

"It doesn't run against the bylaws of WATCH or anything to take these patients," McDonald said.