The Rapides Foundation’s Community Health Assessments show that among barriers to healthcare access, the cost of prescription medicines impacted the greatest number of adults. Because of this, the Foundation in 2001 began the Cenla Medication Access Program (CMAP) to improve people’s access to medications by offering free or reduced-cost prescriptions to eligible clients. CMAP also provides education on the importance of appropriate medication usage.
CMAP, which is now offered statewide, has helped approximately 20,000 people across Louisiana get the free prescriptions they need to maintain their health. More than 800 physicians refer their patients to the program.
CMAP also administers other projects for The Rapides Foundation: the Cancer Screening Project, which helps residents get access to free medical screenings for breast, colorectal and cervical cancers; CMAP Extra, a prescription card program that offers reduced rates on some medications; the Smoking Cessation Trust, which offers cessation counseling to eligible tobacco users; and the Healthy Lifestyle Program, which provides one-on-one nutrition and physical activity counseling to patients referred by their doctors.
Background and Funding
The Rapides Foundation established CMAP in 2001 to provide chronic care prescription medications for people who cannot afford them. CMAP is funded by The Rapides Foundation under the Foundation’s Healthcare Access Initiative. The initiative is designed to address medication access and cancer screenings, foster the establishment and expansion of primary care access with integrated behavioral and oral health services; and to develop a strategy around related medical manpower issues. CMAP administers two of these efforts for The Rapides Foundation – medication access and cancer screenings. In addition, CMAP administers the Foundation’s Healthy Lifestyle Program and Smoking Cessation Trust, which are funded under the Foundation’s Healthy Behaviors Initiative.