A Ballad Health partnership providing free legal assistance to low-income patients completed its first year in 2021.
Last year, nearly 400 hours of free legal services worth more than $40,000 were provided to Ballad patients as part of the health care system’s new Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) with the Appalachian School of Law (ASL), Virginia Tech and regional legal aids .
Dr. Matthew Loos, chief academic officer at Ballad Health, called the MLP “unique in the nation” from an educational and research perspective.
“Right here in the Appalachian Highlands we are on the tip of the spear when it comes to this type of effort and this type of work,” Loos said. “That really is part and parcel to what the promise of Ballad is, what we want to bring to this region and what we believe the people of this region deserve.”
According to a recent report from the MLP, the program got more than 1,500 referrals from Ballad last year, 120 cases resulting from 251 patient calls, and 81 case closures. That’s according to data analyzed and compiled by a team from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. That aspect of the partnership is a distinguishing factor, according to Suzan E. Moore, JD, executive director of MLP at ASL.
People are also reading…
“The thing that really sets our MLP apart from the hundreds of others that are operating across the country is the collaboration with Virginia Tech,” Moore said. “What they brought to the equation is the business analytics.”
According to Moore, Ballad professionals initiated the referrals to the MLP, but it was up to the patient to seek the legal help. According to the report, the majority of legal hours in closed cases were spent on unemployment and financial assistance, with the top two services provided being