The Kansas City Medical Society Foundation is the charitable arm of the Kansas City Medical Society. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we operate the Wy Jo Care and Metro Care charitable care programs that deliver over $8 million worth of donated specialty care to uninsured patients each year. In addition, we carry out programs addressing community health issues.
The Need for Charitable Care
More than 1 in 10 residents of the five core counties of the Kansas City metropolitan area were uninsured in 2016 (Mid-America Regional Council Regional Health Care Assessment 2017). They are not covered by employer-sponsored insurance or individual policies, and earn too much to qualify for Medicaid or other public assistance.
Often, those without health insurance are working in one or more low-wage jobs without health benefits. They earn too much to qualify for government programs such as Medicaid, but not enough to afford health insurance and meet essential needs for food, clothing and housing.
A major need among the uninsured is for specialty care—such as orthopedics, cardiology, cancer care, dermatology and other fields outside of primary care. While the uninsured often can access primary care through community health centers that serve patients on a sliding scale, specialty care is harder to obtain.
Since 2007, concerned physicians of the Kansas City Medical Society along with supporting hospitals and other service providers have donated specialty care to needy patients through the Metro Care and Wy Jo Care programs. Metro Care serves patients in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Wy Jo Care serves patients in Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas.
Metro Care and Wy Jo Care 2018 Highlights
- 1,827 patients were referred to Metro Care and Wy Jo Care by area safety net clinics.
- 1,656 patients passed initial eligibility screening and scheduled appointments with specialists who accepted their cases.
- 110 new providers added to the roster of those available to donate services for the uninsured, including 38 for Wy Jo Care and 72 for Metro Care. Providers include physicians as well as hospitals, laboratories, physical therapists and other services.
- A total of 925 specialty physician volunteers are now registered, including 650 with Wy Jo Care and 275 with Metro Care.
- The value of services donated annually through Metro Care and Wy Jo Care continues to exceed an estimated $8 million annually.
The integrity and transparency of the Foundation’s operations is recognized by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation with its “Reviewed” designation, and by Guidestar with its Silver Seal of Transparency.
Thanks to our major funders: