The "Alameda Part-Pay Plan"

In 1932, in the midst of The Great Depression, more and more patients no longer had the means to pay for their medical care.  The then Alameda County Medical Association (Contra Costa County Medical Society merged with the ACMA in 1950) recognized that something needed to be done for the community and formally committed to preserve access to care for these patients through their members practicing in the community.  This article describes the formation and operation of “The Part Pay Program,” the ACCMA’s first formal program offering medical care to indigent patients for no cost or a discounted amount.  The program was coordinated with the Alameda County Social Services and Health Services Departments, and it bridged the gap between the desperate times of The Depression and the restoration of economic vitality in the community.  It was also laid the groundwork to the ACCMA’s creation of a health plan designed to further enhance access to care a few years later.