Baptist Memorial Health Care, MSDH and HHS collaborate to expand access to monoclonal antibody therapy to treat COVID-19 patients
JACKSON, Mississippi , – Baptist Memorial Health Care, along with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced today that it has expanded access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto and Mississippi Baptist Medical Center. Additionally, plans are underway for expansion at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Leake.
mAb treatment helps prevent progression of COVID-19 that might otherwise require hospitalization for people who are at high risk of developing severe illness and have tested positive for the virus or are unvaccinated and have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. This therapy may be administered intravenously or through subcutaneous injection. If administered within 10 days of having COVID-19 symptoms, this one-time therapy has proven effective in neutralizing the virus and preventing symptoms from worsening.
“Preventing the spread of COVID-19 and limiting the effects of this illness on our community have been our priorities during the past year and a half,” said Jillian Foster, system pharmacy administrator for Baptist Memorial Health Care. “Monoclonal antibody treatment has proven to be an effective tool in reducing hospitalizations, especially among those at high risk for severe illness. But to have the greatest impact and do the most good, we need to continue to make this treatment available to everyone who qualifies in our community.
“Through our collaboration with MSDH and HHS, we will have the resources to expand our reach and extend this treatment option to the most vulnerable people in our community. We hope that will help improve survival and stop the spread of this disease.”
“Our state is facing a challenge that is unprecedented,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs, state health officer of the Mississippi Department of Health. “We’re working to bring COVID-19 treatment to every corner of Mississippi, and it’s critical we get the word out that mAbs is here and can save lives. Baptist is an integral contributor to this effort and joins similar efforts underway in Hattiesburg and Tupelo.”
On March 17, 2021, HHS announced it was investing $150 million to increase access to mAb therapy for high-risk patients in underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country. With support from KPMG LLP, HHS is developing new prototype models for expanding access to mAb treatment and leveraging an existing network of health care partners who have the experience and equipment necessary to provide the therapy.
Baptist joins a growing list of national mAbs therapy providers supported by KPMG and sponsored by HHS as part of the federal effort to help end COVID-19 and improve health equity in underserved communities across the country. In addition to the new Mississippi locations, 40 infusion sites have now been established or expanded under this initiative in Landover, MD; San Diego, CA; Detroit, MI; Barnstable County, MA; Houston, TX; Beckley, WV; Worcester, MA; western Michigan; southern Missouri, northeast South Carolina; and northern and southern Mississippi.
mAb therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. A Phase 3 clinical trial showed that antibody therapy reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by up to 70% in patients who received the drug intravenously compared to those who received a placebo.
The three Mississippi Baptist Memorial hospitals expanding treatment availability can collectively treat more than 100 patients a day. To be eligible for mAb treatment, patients must meet the emergency use authorization (EUA) definition of “high risk.” There is no cost to the patient, and treatment is offered regardless of immigration status or health insurance.
To confirm eligibility for treatment and book an appointment, contact the relevant Baptist location below:
- Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, MS: 1-855-733-8863
- Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven, MS: 1-844-877-2433
- Baptist Memorial Hospital-Leake in Carthage, MS: 601-267-1162
About Baptist Memorial Health Care:
Baptist Memorial Health Care is one of the country’s largest not-for-profit health care systems and the largest provider of Medicaid in the region. Baptist offers a full continuum of care to communities throughout the Mid-South and consistently ranks among the top integrated health care networks in the nation. The health care system comprises 22 affiliate hospitals in West Tennessee, Mississippi and East Arkansas; more than 5,400 affiliated physicians; Baptist Medical Group, a multispecialty physician group with more than 800 providers; home, hospice and psychiatric care; minor medical centers and clinics; a network of surgery, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers; and an education system highlighted by Baptist Health Sciences University (formerly Baptist College of Health Sciences). The Baptist system employs more than 19,000 people, and in fiscal year 2019 contributed more than $336 million in community benefit and uncompensated care to the communities it serves. For more information, please visit www.baptistonline.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
About Crush COVID:
A treatment for COVID-19 is here and is available in every state at hundreds of locations across the country. With the help of KPMG, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state and local health departments, and local hospitals and health clinics, eligible patients will have increased access to monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) in a growing number of underserved and disadvantaged communities through this initiative. Authorized by the FDA, mAb treatment is available to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are considered at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. To learn more about eligibility and find a treatment location near you, visit https://crushcovid.com.