BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) is using state funding to expand its testing capability. It's working with Kaleida Health to provide COVID-19 testing to anyone in the general public who has received a prescription from their primary care doctor to obtain testing.
The hospital is using its Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) money to increase testing for vulnerable communities in the inner-city, and linking people in those communities to primary care providers. DSRIP is a state program that provides funding to healthcare facilities to reduce avoidable hospital visits. During the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations already in DSRIP can apply for testing sites, and apply for u to $2,500 a day in grant funding for 100 days. If they receive grant funding, the organizations have to report to the state and ensure they're meeting the program's goals.
In addition to funding testing, ECMC is dispensing the following funding through the DSRIP program:
- $1.125 million to the African American Health Equity Task Force for work with inner-city churches and community organizations to educate on COVID-19 and link people to health care and testing sites
- $7.24 million in early distribution to primary care and behavioral health partners and other outpatient community organizations
ECMC hopes more community testing will be available in the future through help from the federal government.