Ballad Health, Appalachian School of Law, & Virginia Tech create medical-legal partnership

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Ballad Health has partnered with the Appalachian School of Law and Virginia Tech to establish a medical-legal partnership to help those in need get legal assistance.

Ballad says the partnership combines health and legal services at a single site of care.

“A multidisciplinary team, including ASL students and faculty and lawyers representing the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society and Legal Aid of East Tennessee, will work together to address medical and social/legal problems that have an impact on overall health,” the health system said in a news release.

Ballad says medical-legal partnerships can:

  • Assist patients in getting emergency financial relief available through unemployment benefits and the CARES Act and in avoiding housing evictions, which were suspended under federal and state laws
  • Help eliminate barriers to patients obtaining lifesaving medications
  • Assist patients who are disabled from work in obtaining disability benefits, including Medicare or Medicaid coverage
  • Help patients appeal wrongful insurance coverage denials
  • Help people with complex conditions avoid repeated trips to the emergency room by helping secure housing and affordable medicines
  • Connect patients and families to critical resources that affect health, such as food banks, domestic violence shelters, and suicide prevention assistance
  • Help recover costs for hospitals, such as by challenging insurance coverage denials

According to Ballad, studies show this kind of partnership can reduce health care costs and improve quality of health outcomes.

Those interested in the program can speak with a representative about the free services by contacting the Appalachian School of Law at intake@asl.edu or 276-244-1289

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