Since 2017, NC MedAssist has been using the Aunt Bertha network to receive referrals for uninsured and low-income individuals seeking pharmaceutical drugs throughout North Carolina. Fellow Aunt Bertha partners, Atrium Health, Novant Health and Benelynk, serve as their top providers for referrals. Through these partners and other sources, NC MedAssist has seen a 2800% increase in referrals within one year of joining the Aunt Bertha network.
How Aunt Bertha meets NC MedAssists’s needs:
- The Aunt Bertha network makes it easy for individuals to find and get help from NC MedAssist;
- The free screening form and reporting tools aid Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in closing the loop more quickly; and
- Aunt Bertha’s user-friendly interface makes navigation a simple, uncomplicated process.
About NC MedAssist
NC MedAssist is the only statewide nonprofit pharmacy in North Carolina. They provide prescription and over-the-counter medications at no cost to their neighbors in need. They believe that no one should ever have to choose between purchasing food or buying their medicine.
Before joining the Aunt Bertha network, NC MedAssist faced a lot of difficulty in spreading the word about their organization. In order to get referrals, they would arrange meetings at hospitals and private practices, use billboard ads, and even go door-to-door in their community for people to learn about their services. These efforts were tedious and took away from the time they could have spent linking individuals to the medications they needed. NC MedAssist was looking for a better way to advertise their services that not only benefited them but also the people they were helping. Without a reliable platform, NC MedAssist could not help as many North Carolinians as they aimed to serve.
How Aunt Bertha Helped
In 2017, Atrium Health launched their white-label version of Aunt Bertha’s search platform — The Community Resource Hub — to connect their patients and community members with organizations that provide food, housing, and other forms of assistance to address Social Determinants of Health (SDoH). NC MedAssist uses The Community Resource Hub, provided through their partner Atrium Health, as their main platform for promoting and managing their program. Through staff adoption, they were able to begin using Aunt Bertha’s search platform quickly and easily.
After claiming their programs on Atrium’s custom Aunt Bertha platform, NC MedAssist gained access to the free open toolkit for nonprofits. This toolkit offers a multitude of tools designed to help organizations like NC MedAssist support people seeking services. The free suite includes tools like the customizable screening form and referral tracking — both of which are heavily implemented by NC MedAssist staff.
“I love that people can use the screener on the site to enroll in our program…” says Robbie Jarret, Director of Patient Engagement at NC MedAssist.
The screener helps staff confirm whether or not patients are eligible for services, so that their social care workers spend less time figuring out if someone is qualified and spend more time helping.
“I like the fact that referrals go through immediately, without any wait time. I think that empowers the patient,” comments a staff member on the referral tracking tool.
Once someone refers an individual to NC MedAssist, their staff updates the status of that referral to track the outcome. This makes it simple for NC MedAssist, the person seeking help, and the social care worker helping the individual in need to determine whether or not they can provide services — all within the Aunt Bertha platform. All referral fields — appointment details, screening results, referral status, and more — are available to view in real time.
Spreading the word about their services to receive referrals (something that was previously a tedious process for NC MedAssist) became uncomplicated and effortless once they were introduced to the Aunt Bertha platform.
Results of our Partnership
Within one year of joining the Aunt Bertha network, NC MedAssist saw a 2800% increase in referrals on the platform. Seeing their services openly listed on findhelp.org (Aunt Bertha’s search and referral platform) made it easier for North Carolinians to find their services. This completely eliminated previous efforts of visiting hospitals and door-to-door marketing to spread awareness.
“We serve the whole state of North Carolina and [Aunt Bertha] is a great way for people to get connected no matter where they live and what kind of medications they need….I love that it’s free, accessible at any time of the day or night and offers a central place to go to and find services, refer patients, and track the status of [the] referral.”
The free intake tools help NC MedAssist staff close the loop faster and get individuals the help they need, sooner rather than later. Aunt Bertha’s user-friendly interface makes navigating the platform a simple process. As a result, Aunt Bertha is NC MedAssist’s preferred search and referral platform, beating out other leading online resources in North Carolina.
NC MedAssist has been a great supporter of the Aunt Bertha network and looks forward to continuing the partnership in helping individuals access medications they need throughout the state of North Carolina.