What is PROJECT TCMS?
Project TCMS (Tulsa Charitable Medical Services) is a community partnership to improve access to specialty health care for low-income, uninsured residents of Tulsa County. It combines care provided in primary care safety net clinics in Tulsa County with donated specialty care in a coordinated referral program led by the Tulsa County Medical Society Foundation. It is designed to enhance the work of existing safety net clinics and other community agencies.
Why is PROJECT TCMS needed?
According to the 2017 U.S. Census Report, 102,757 adult residents in Tulsa County do not have health insurance. Often, those without health insurance are working in one or more low-wage jobs without health benefits, earning too much to qualify for programs like Medicaid, but not earning enough to afford health insurance and still meet other essential needs such as food, clothing, and housing. Many of the low-income, uninsured receives primary care services through safety net clinics. Before, safety net physicians and clinic staff worked the phones until they found a specialist willing to help. This was an expensive and inefficient way to locate services, and put pressure on the same physicians to provide charity care.
How does PROJECT TCMS work?
PROJECT TCMS serves as a centralized point of entry for safety net clinics’ patient specialty referrals. We maintain a referral database to guarantee that only the number of patients each physician has agreed to accept will be referred to their practice. Patients are assigned to specialists on a rotating basis to ensure an equal distribution of these patients among the physicians who signed up to participate. A similar rotating assignment protocol will be used for the hospital-based surgeries and inpatient care as needed.
Patients are referred to PROJECT TCMS by health care providers working in the safety net clinics including:
AM Healthcare Clinic
Community Health Connection
Good Samaritan Health Services
Indian Healthcare Resource Center of Tulsa
Morton Family & Children Services
Morton Health Eastside
Morton Main Health
Morton MidTown Clinic
Neighbors Along The Line
OSU Family Medicine
OU Tisdale Clinic
OU Community Health
Rockford Medical Access Clinic
St. John Transitional Care Clinic
Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless
Tulsa Dream Center Health Services
Xavier Medical Clinic
PROJECT TCMS staff assigns a specialist to each patient referral. Before an appointment is made, the specialist is provided pertinent clinical information and preliminary diagnosis via internet referral management system. Appointments are arranged between sending clinic and receiving specialist after medical records are reviewed and determined appropriate utilizing web based referral management system. If additional testing is necessary prior to visit, this will be arranged by safety net clinic. Most appointments will be scheduled on a first available basis. You will not be asked to see patients outside of your regular business hours.
Who can receive this care?
PROJECT TCMS patients must have been a Tulsa County resident for the past three months, 18 - 64 years of age, uninsured and does not qualify for governmental programs, like Medicare or Medicaid. Total family income must be 200% or less of federal poverty guidelines ($60,000 per year for a family of four).
What is the patient’s responsibility in the program?
Patients are responsible for keeping appointments and for making a good-faith effort to work in partnership with their doctors and PROJECT TCMS.
What if I already give charity care?
PROJECT TCMS guarantees that you will only be asked to care for the number of patients you have pledged to see through the program. Having a broad base of specialists volunteering for PROJECT TCMS should reduce your burden of caring for the uninsured. With the referrals being centralized at PROJECT TCMS, calls directly from the safety net clinics should be minimal.
If you see a patient needing a primary care physician, you may contact PROJECT TCMS. The staff there can help the patient find a medical “home” in one of the safety net clinics.
For more information about Project TCMS, contact:
Project TCMS was funded in part by a grant from OSMA Foundation.