- What is Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic? We are a free clinic that provides primary medical care to eligible patients, just like any family practitioner or internist – but free of charge. We treat uninsured adults who live or work on Johns, James & Wadmalaw Islands; Folly Beach; or serve in the Hospitality Industry of Downtown Charleston (Check Here For Household Size Income Eligibility). These numbers are in accordance with Federal Guidelines set each year. Are You Eligible? Take Our Easy Quiz.
- Who treats patients at the Free Clinic? All of our volunteer physicians are licensed in SC and maintain annual Continuing Medical Education, including specialty certification as needed. Our medical staff are trained in UpToDate and have access to highly specialized telemedicine consults via the national MAVEN network. In addition to over 19 sub-specialty providers, our in-house staff consists of both currently practicing area physicians as well as retired professors from leading medical universities. Through volunteer collaboration and partnerships, we are able to offer our patients free, high quality routine primary care; low or no cost prescriptions; dermatology; psychiatry; reproductive health; chronic disease management and more.
- What will it cost me to receive patient services from the clinic ? The Free Clinic is free to eligible patients. We are able to see and treat patients at no cost due to our volunteer medical staff and generous donations from individuals and organizations throughout the community. Prospective patients must have all required eligibility documents together and be accepted as a new patient prior to making an appointment. Download and Complete Our Patient Application.
- Who is eligible for care at Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic? Adults who:
– Live or work on Johns, James & Wadmalaw Islands; Folly Beach; or work in the Hospitality Industry on the Charleston Peninsula.
– Have a household income according to the 299% income level guidelines (Check Here For Household Size Income Eligibility)
– Do not have health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or VA medical benefits. Read more about eligibility here.
- What does “299% of the federal poverty level” mean? The United States Department of Health and Human Services establishes the federal poverty level. Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic serves adults who earn at or below 299% of this level, which translates to the following:
- How do I sign up to receive patient care?
Every patient goes through the same process for determining eligibility to receive services. Download and Complete Our Patient Application for a detailed overview of our new patient checklist as well as additional resources. This provides you with all the information you will need to apply for eligibility. You must have all necessary documents ready prior to submitting your patient application.
- Why do I have to provide so much information to be eligible for patient care?
We strive to make the eligibility process as easy as possible. We we want to make sure that uninsured residents and workers of the Barrier Islands and Charleston’s Hospitality Industry are receiving our care. If we determine you are not eligible for services, we can help direct you to other free patient care clinics throughout the Charleston area.
- What are the clinic’s hours of operation?
Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm we offer our regularly scheduled clinic hours by appointment only. When necessary, we will also try to accommodate same-day visits.
- What free services will be provided by the clinic?
Doctors, nurses, translators, staff, diabetic meters and strips, lab tests, X-rays and screening mammograms are free. Some specialty referrals are free.
- Who operates the clinic?
The Free Clinic is a 501( c)(3) non-profit organization, operated by an Executive Medical Director and support staff. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
- How is the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic financed?
The Free Clinic is supported by charitable contributions from individuals, community and religious organizations, fundraising events and grants from private foundations. The Free Clinic receives no state or federal money. We are staffed by volunteers who offer their time freely to care for patients.
- What types of volunteers are needed at the free clinic?
Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic relies on donated time from retired and active licensed physicians and nurses, as well as interpreters and office volunteers. Many additional volunteers are needed during special events such as our annual Golf Tournament and Lowcountry Wine and Beer Festival. Marketing professionals, photographers and database experts are just some of the other volunteer skills we need. Volunteer roles include:
– Nurses and nurse practitioners
– Spanish/English interpreters
– Social workers and psychologists
– Administrative and operational support
– Fundraiser support
STATEMENT ON EQUITY AND INCLUSION: BIFMC is dedicated to fostering greater health equity and bases our best practices on that of Volunteers in Medicine and the National Association for Free and Charitable Clinics, both leading national organizations that are committed to ensuring the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care. Like our sister clinics across the country, BIFMC values volunteerism, generosity, collaboration and human dignity. We believe that all individuals, regardless of their age, sex, income, education, immigration status, ethnicity, color of skin, religion, gender or sexual orientation should have access to affordable, quality health care. We utilize community resources and partners in order to provide continuous and necessary medical care without utilizing state or federal resources, and we maintain both staff and volunteers who are able to medically translate for non-english speaking patients. Additionally, clinic physicians engage in monthly Continuing Medical Education, while all staff maintain on-going HIPAA training while upholding the privacy of and dignity of all patients.