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CARING HANDS IN HEALTH PORTAL

Caring Hands in Health assists the county's most vulnerable patients at San Mateo Medical Center's hospital and clinics. We provide patients with financial assistance to enable them and their families to fulfill their needs quickly and in a dignified manner, improving healthcare access for at-risk populations in our community.

 

Every application is thoroughly reviewed by the Foundation and granted on a per-case basis.

 

We fund...

  • Up to $500 for Basic Needs like groceries, medical and accessibility equipment, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to or directly caused by a medical issue. 

  • One month of rent not to exceed $1,500 for Emergency Housing Assistance for those in need or with children and elderly in the home. We also assist with recuperative care for patients in need of a temporary place to stay for a short term while they recover from surgery.

 

  • Medical Billing Assistance with prescription copays and up to $3,000 for vital dental procedures.


This program is meant for medical and life necessities. Please do not submit requests for non-essential items like TVs, car payments, furniture, etc.
 

Patient Application

Patients cannot submit an application form. Only a staff member of the San Mateo Medical Center network of clinics can fill out forms on behalf of patients, and all requests must be confirmed by a SMMC Healthcare Provider.

SMMC Staff and Healthcare Providers: Please review the FAQs before submitting a HIPAA compliant application on behalf of your patient.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who qualifies for support from the Caring Hands in Health program?
To align with IRS regulations, program recipients must constitute a "charitable class" (individuals
facing economic hardship or children) and meet the program eligibility requirements,
which are specific to San Mateo County Health Foundation’s cause and work to identify individuals
most in need of assistance. 

​Program Eligibility Requirements:

  • Recipient must be a patient of San Mateo Medical Center's hospital and clinics and must possess a Medical Record Number (MRN)

  • Recipient must be referred by a SMMC staff member and a SMMC provider must attest to the needs of the patient

  • SMMC staff member or SMMC provider must attest there is no concern that assistance might be used for any alcohol or drug addiction

What kind of assistance is given and how is it paid?
- Financial assistance up to $500 for basic needs like groceries, medical and accessibility equipment, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to or directly caused by a medical issue. ​
- Emergency housing assistance for those in dire need or with children and elderly in the home. If approved, we will cover one month of rent no more than $1,500 on a one-time basis. Before they can be granted rental assistance, patients applying must be referred to and assigned a SMMC social worker.
- Medical billing assistance with prescription copays and up to $3,000 for dental procedures.

We do not give cash to patients and gift cards are given on a per case basis. Payment is made directly to a merchant or business to pay for the goods/services requested. Approved emergency housing assistance is given on a one-time basis and is meant to fill the gap for no more than one month of rent up to $1,500 while the patient is working on a more permanent solution with their social worker and/or other San Mateo County agencies. Payment is sent directly to a patient's landlord.

Who can fill out an application?

Patients cannot submit their own application. Requests can be submitted by any SMMC staff member, but must be confirmed by a SMMC provider on the online application. Patient or patient's guardian must give their consent by signing the form online during their in-person appointment, or the SMMC staff member/provider can sign on their behalf. If it is a virtual or phone appointment, a Verbal Patient Signature option can be used.


Can a patient apply for support multiple times?
Patients can apply for basic needs and medical billing assistance up to three times per year. Emergency housing assistance is only given on a one-time basis and is meant to fill the gap for no more than a month up to $1,500 while the patient is working on a more permanent solution. 

What is the link to submit an application on behalf of a patient?

The HIPAA compliant application is at this link

How do I obtain a patient’s permission if they are being treated virtually or over the phone?
Staff/providers can attest on the application that they have been given consent by the patient or individual authorized to consent on behalf of the patient. Tick the box for Verbal Patient Signature.

What is the process once an application is submitted?
Applications are processed Monday-Thursday by Foundation staff. Typically, staff/providers and patients are notified of their application status within 48 hours of submission, unless for special circumstances where the request needs further review. After the Foundation receives an application, staff will work directly with the patient. If the Foundation is unable to reach the patient or patient's guardian, we will contact the SMMC representative for additional support.

Once approved, how do patients obtain their assistance from the program?
When notifying patients regarding the approval of their application, the Foundation will arrange the pick-up location or delivery of items requested. We do not give cash to patients and gift cards are given on a per case basis. Payment is made directly to a merchant or business to pay for the goods/services requested. Approved emergency housing assistance will be paid directly to the patient's landlord.

Before submitting an application, there are 3 important things: 1) Have your Patient's MRN, 2) Know the Program Eligibility Requirements, and 3) Be familiar with the rules around what we fund.
Once you are ready to make a request on behalf of a SMMC patient, please start the application process below.

CONTACT US

If you still have questions about the program or need further assistance submitting an application,  please contact the San Mateo County Foundation team at info@smchf.org.

Thanks to staff members like you and programs like these over 77,000 patients can receive healthcare each year regardless of their ability to pay. 

 

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