Columbia County’s Healthcare Consortium is a rural health network made up of residents and professionals from the health care, business and consumer sectors throughout our area whose mission is to increase access to quality health care through collaboration, education, information and service delivery for those within the county in need of support. Though the spread of COVID-19 has impacted nearly every business in the area, members of the Columbia County Healthcare Consortium continue to push through. “The Healthcare Consortium continues to operate all of its programs and services during the COVID-19 outbreak.” Executive Director Claire Parde said Thursday via a press release, “Albeit in a slightly different way.”

The Healthcare Consortium serves residents of Columbia and Greene Counties, typically from its main office in Hudson, as well as numerous other locations throughout the Twin Counties. Parde said, “Though all in-person visits are suspended during this time, all Consumer Assistance Programs continue to function by phone. One program that can be of special help at this time is our Navigator Program. Unfortunately, many people have found that their employment situation has abruptly changed, and they may have lost hours, wages, or employer-sponsored health insurance coverage as a result.”

Maintaining health insurance coverage and the access to care it provides has perhaps never been more important for many residents in Columbia and Greene County than now. The Healthcare Consortium is the New York State Department of Health’s contractor to administer the Navigator Program in Columbia and Greene Counties, and as such, is the official resource for health insurance enrollment through the NY State of Health (NYSOH), NY’s online marketplace for health insurance. Parde said, “Our Children and Adults Rural Transportation Service, or CARTS, continues to provide non-emergency medical transportation to Columbia County residents of any age or ability. As you can imagine, both patients and healthcare providers are deferring non-essential appointments to later times whenever they can, but we continue to transport dialysis patients to and from their essential appointments multiple times per week, as well as anyone else whose appointments cannot be delayed.”

All Consumer Assistance Programs continue to function by phone at 518-822-8820.
The CARTS Program can be reached by calling 518-822-8020.
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