A Lafayette clinic that for 10 years provided free prescription medication for some Acadiana residents will now serve only uninsured workers who live in Lafayette Parish.
Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic made the change effective Monday.
Skyra Rideaux, executive director of the clinic, said the number of people served by its pharmacy expanded largely during the past decade — to about 1,500 clients a year — because of its no-cost pharmacy service.
The value of donated prescriptions increased from about $2.1 million in 2013 to $2.7 million in 2014, according to the clinic’s most recent financial audit.
“We’re just making a business decision and want to get back to our core mission to serving the working uninsured in Lafayette Parish,” Rideaux said.
Those now eligible to use the clinic and its pharmacy must be employed, uninsured residents of Lafayette Parish who make no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines — or $23,540 for an individual or $48,500 for a family of four.
Rideaux said the shift in focus will help the two-day-a-week clinic, which operates solely on community donations and partnerships, provide more education and preventative care programs for its patients.
The clinic already provides medical and gynecological exams, lab tests and X-rays, skin and breast cancer screenings, specialist visits and dental treatments.
Rae Logan, executive director for 232-HELP, which guides people in need to available social services, said each Acadiana parish has a federally funded health care agency where low-income individuals no longer eligible to use the clinic’s pharmacy can receive health services.
University Hospital and Clinics also provides its patients with access to affordable medication through its Patient Assistance Program, the revenue of which goes back toward health care for low-income people.
Local supermarkets like Winn-Dixie, Super 1 Foods and Wal-Mart also offer low-cost pharmacy services and some no-cost antibiotics.
“There’s a need for these kinds of services everywhere,” Logan said.