Newsroom | Community Health

  • Share to Linked in
  • Share to Facebook

Volunteers with Evergreen Baptist Church clean up the grounds at Hospitality House of Tulsa.

Providing Affordable Housing During Medical Emergencies

Hospitality House of Tulsa is helping more people who travel to Tulsa for critical medical care secure affordable lodging with help from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.

Each year, more than 25,000 people come to Tulsa for urgent medical care, many from rural areas of Oklahoma with limited health care access. Hospitality House of Tulsa has 13 suites for families and caregivers of patients in Tulsa hospitals along with peer support, free meals and other services.

Aided by BCBSOK’s $40,000 grant, Hospitality House of Tulsa is expanding its Lodgingly program. The website offers discounted hotel rates near care sites for people who travel to Tulsa from 30 miles away or more.

The Blue ImpactSM grants are part of BCBSOK’s mission to address social determinants of health across the state, including providing safe and affordable spaces for people in need.

Many families who travel into Tulsa are unaware they’re eligible for discounted rooms, meals and other services through the nonprofit’s Lodgingly website. The savings can have a significant impact on families who are often experiencing an unexpected and costly medical event, says Toni Moore, president & CEO of Hospitality House of Tulsa.

“These families still have their house payments, rent, car payments and other financial obligations,” Moore says. “This is about saving families out-of-pocket expenses and decreasing their costs as much as we can.”

Hospitality House of Tulsa contracts with four Tulsa-area hotels to offer rooms for 10%-25% less than families can book through other third-party sites, with some lodging as low as $28 per night, Moore says. Guests are also eligible for restaurant discounts, prayer support, access to convenient transport, and pet boarding through the Hospitality House of Tulsa.

Patients or families only need a referral from a doctor or hospital for the Lodgingly discount. People who book through the website receive access to medical concierge service, and a percentage of all bookings pay for families to stay at the Hospitality House.

For years, Hospitality House of Tulsa has been serving people from Oklahoma to Spain who come to Tulsa for medical emergencies. The nonprofit is primarily run by volunteers and helped 575 families and served nearly 3,000 meals in 2022.

It’s the only medical lodging program in the state that serves both pediatric and adult patients, and often has 13 to 15 families each day waiting to stay in its facilities, Moore says.

“Blue Impact grants are part of our ongoing commitment to support nonprofit organizations that focus on the health of Oklahomans,” says Stephania Grober, BCBSOK president. “We are proud to partner with Hospitality House of Tulsa and are excited to see how their innovative and impactful work makes a significant difference in our community.”

Moore says Lodgingly is broadening the organization’s impact for patients and their families beyond the capacity of the Hospitality House. 

“When people have adequate and affordable housing while they're traveling, medical outcomes are better for patients and financial outcomes are better for families and caregivers,” Moore says.

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association