Health Advantage is a managed care program providing high quality, seamless medical care to low-income and uninsured residents of Indianapolis. All Marion County residents that fall at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and do not qualify for any other assistance program are eligible.
There are more than 54,000 Health Advantage members receiving services at more than 20 Health Advantage provider sites. Services include (among many others) routine exams, immunizations, referrals to specialty care, lab and X-ray services, prescribed medicine and emergency services.
Health Advantage goals include improving the overall quality of health care in Marion County, effectively coordinating and managing patient care, strengthening doctor/patient relationships, decreasing inappropriate emergency room use and producing reliable data to guide future decision-making.
The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC) is one of the long-standing and key providers of health care to low-income and uninsured residents in Marion County. Funded with local property tax dollars, HHC operates the Marion County Health Department, Wishard Hospital and Wishard Community Health Centers. In this way, HHC offers the indigent residents of Marion County a wide range of health care services from primary to preventive care.
Despite the provision of these services, HHC was concerned about how, when and where patients were receiving their care. Many individuals were unable to afford traditional health care coverage, and therefore either visited their physician only when very ill or directly used the emergency room as a physician's office for minor illnesses. The care these patients received was episodic--often delayed--late in the disease stage and/or not in the most appropriate setting. With no regular source of care, services were fragmented and duplicated. Patients did not consistently receive the primary and preventative care services critical to health promotion and disease prevention.
To address these issues, HHC launched an innovative program designed to provide high quality, seamless health care to the low-income and uninsured residents of Marion County--the Health Advantage program (initially titled Wishard Advantage). Established in 1997, Health Advantage is a managed-care program for the indigent, modeled after the Indiana Medicaid program.