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Patient Advocate Foundation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Health

Mission:

Patient Advocate Foundation was established in 1996 as a national 501(c)3 organization with a mission of “safeguarding patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability.” PAF serves as an active liaison between patients and their insurer, employer and/or creditors to resolve insurance, job retention, and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis through case managers, doctors and health care attorneys.

Programs: Patient Advocate Foundation's Co-Pay Relief, A Patient Assistance Program On 4/1/04, PAF opened Co-Pay Relief, a cash assistance program to provide co-payment assistance for medically and financially qualified insured patients who have prescription drug coverage but cannot pay to access their prescription drug coverage. Support is currently available for patients with Breast, Lung, Brain, Colon, Kidney, Head and Neck, Pancreatic and Prostate Cancers, Autoimmune Disorders, Diabetes, Lymphoma, Sarcoma, Macular Degeneration, Myelodsyplastic Syndrome, Myeloma, Osteoporosis and Chemotherapy Induced Anemia/Chemotherapy Induced Neutropenia. This premier program has been approved by the Office of the Inspector General. A Modification to Advisory Opinion 04-15 was received on 8/29/08, increasing the number of available disease categories from 27 to 43. Hispanic/Latino Outreach Program The Hispanic/Latino Outreach Program was implemented in 2001 with offices in New York and California staffed by bi-lingual case managers. This program seeks to improve access to healthcare for the Hispanic/Latino community. PAF also provides educational materials in Spanish. When the program was implemented in 2001, 1.24% of all PAF patients were Hispanic/Latino. For FY 07/08, 8.62% of all patients served were of Hispanic/Latino descent. National African American Outreach Program PAF's National African American Outreach Program was initiated towards the end of the 2004 fiscal year. This program is designed to reduce health care disparities and assist individuals by disseminating information to those who are generally unable to receive reliable health care. In FY 07/08, 17.07% of the patients served by PAF are African American. Local and National Outreach Initiative During FY 07/08, PAF staff attended over 600 local, regional or national conferences either as a participant or as an exhibitor. This included conferences such as the National Sickle Cell Disease Program Conference, the Association of Oncology Social Workers Conference, The Oncology Nursing Society Annual Meeting, The Association of Community Cancer Centers Conference, The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Annual Conference and American Society of Clinical Oncology. Publications Department The newest publication is within PAF's "A Greater Understanding..." series of brochures entitled "Second Opinions: Know Your Rights and Options." The majority of PAF authored publications are also available in Spanish. All of PAF published educational publications are provided at no cost and can be obtained via internet by downloading from the PAF website, www.patientadvocate.org. Med CareLine Division In November 2006, PAF launched the Colorectal CareLine (CCL), a patient/provider hotline, designed to provide sustained assistance to patients who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and are seeking educational resources, direct assistance with access to care issues and/or financial aid for select patient needs. In November, 2008, the second Med CareLine program was launched, the Lymphedema CareLine to assist breast cancer patients with access to a test the determine if the patient is prone to lymphedema and through early detection, can almost always avoid the disease. PAF/American Cancer Society Partnership In May 2008, PAF entered into a partnership with the American Cancer Society to receive referrals from the ACS Patient Navigator Program. These services are an extension of the services provided by ACS. The Lance Armstrong Foundation In FY 07/08, PAF celebrated it's 4th year of the partnership with the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the LAF LiveStrong SurvivorCare Program. Patients who reach out to LAF and are in need of social service programs and access to healthcare are referred to PAF for assistance. Since inception of the partnership, PAF has assisted 5,876 patient referrals.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

"I've been dealing with breast cancer since July. Fortunately for me, when it seemed I would be overwhelmed with the paperwork, my PAF case manager got in touch with me -- words just cannot describe ALL he did. You have to understand before he got involved I did not have the time to take care of my health, I was too busy fighting with insurance companies. My insurer at one point approved a hospital stay for me, and after the fact denied coverage!!! Then the hospital sent me a bill for $66,000!!! Then 12 different doctors started sending their bills. I was so overwhelmed and was undergoing chemotherapy at the time. My case manager stepped in, and after dozens and dozens of phone calls and emails. I don't know how he did it, but the insurance company paid the $66,000 bill, and most of the doctors were also paid. What a relief-I was not in this fight alone, there are people - not just my case manager - but an entire organization out there that cared about me. Thank you so very much!” Barbara

1 Judy131

Client Served

Rating: 5

PAF saved my life. I was underinsured with a $25K cap when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. PAF helped me negotiate bills with medical providers so I ended up with very little medical debt. Thank you PAF.
J S Hodges

Wendy109

Client Served

Rating: 4

As a chronic pain sufferer due to trigeminal neuralgia, type two, the best treatment as far is medical ( meaning expensive pharmaceuticals). This nonprofit organization really stepped up and helped me at a time of great need! Actually, the need is ongoing but the area of pain was fully subscribed; now I see it is not listed as an area of service. How distressing if understandable given the controversy whipped up over pain medication! At any rate, this nonprofit is first class!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

In the summer of 2011 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and underwent surgery. I then had to face the daunting prospect of "chemo" with the worry of cost above my Medicare Advantage plan. I applied to Patient Advocate Foundation for co-pay assistance. The process was fast, efficient, smooth and culminated in a 12 month grant to aid in my treatment.

It was great to be able to focus on the medical aspects of my condition with out the additional worry of finance! My experience with this caring foundation was very positive.

Thank You,

Marvelle Smith

Review from CharityNavigator

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was the recipient of generous financial assistance from Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) in the treatment of osteoporosis. My prescription medication was a very expensive daily injection medication over a two-year period. I was awarded $3,000 by PAF for each of those years. The staff at PAF handled the payment of invoices directly in an efficient manner was always most kind in my contacts with them. I am truly impressed with the services of PAF and will always be grateful for their assistance.

Review from CharityNavigator

Client Served

Rating: 5

April 18, 2013

I am, most sincerely, just one of the “many” Presidents of Patient Advocate Foundation, and Cheryl Nowell Fan Club.. In addition to walking me through my first bout with Colon Cancer bills and medical confusion, PAF (through Cheryl Nowell) also helped me a second time through the same after my treatments for small bowel cancer. What PAF did for me, was to take the confusing state of mind that I or anyone else would be in after such medical trauma, and help it make to make some sense. The end result, from BOTH times, was that ALL of my medical bills (except one) were written off. This state does not just happen---it is through incredibly diligent work and a caring heart, which PAF exhibited to the nth degree—and way beyond. I cannot possible put into mere words the gratitude I feel for this organization, which helps ALL people through different kinds of “medical and mental” trauma. I most highly recommend PAF to anyone who needs a sincerely caring voice and heart on the other end of the telephone, during such confusing and trying times. Thank You PAF! All of you are WONDERFUL!!

Sincerely from the bottom of my heart,
Bonnie West

Review from CharityNavigator

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would recommend the Co-Pay Relief program because it’s a quick, simplified process with a staff that truly cares. When you are sick and down you don’t need nor can you deal with the stress of the huge financial burden our medical system throws and you. It’s really nice to work with a group of professionals who make you feel like you are a part of their family and really want to help. I am grateful to the PAF/Co-Pay Relief Program and the staff who have given me a chance to finish my treatment. I am also grateful for the donors who support this program which helped me and has helped so many others. Thank you all very much for your excellent work and for being such kind and caring people.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Try to understand the feeling and dismay when you are informed that the problem you are facing has no cure and that a certain program, if successful,will prolong your life. Then, you discover the costs of this program, knowing that you do not have the funds nor are able to raise the necessary funds to begin the program.
That is what happened to me 3 months ago.
Fortunately for me, I was able to access information on my PC and discovered Patient Advocate Foundation and their helpful and compassionate people who really cared. The Foundation has been so very helpful and because of their decision to help, I am being treated and improving.
Without the Foundation's help, I would not be able to receive the necessary treatments and my life expectancy would be cut short, and I would not be able to write this review.

Review from CharityNavigator

Client Served

Rating: 5

After I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2008 I began to pay my huge co-pays for medications. It became unbearable. I was introduced to PAF by my PCP and filled application. The Co-Pay Assistance Program helped me to stay on. With cancer treatment so expensive I could not survive without the help of PAF. I greatly appreciate their help and hope they will continue to provide assistance to cancer survivors. Victor Sloosky, Ashton, MD

Review from CharityNavigator

Debbie85

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a 54 year old breast cancer survivor. PAF really saved me at the hospital. The co-pays were crazy and thanks to PAF I can hold my head up high because I paid off Virtua Hospital Voorhess, NJ. I don't know what I could have done without them but the professionalism of the staff was a big help since I paid with them directly. Thank you to all who got me through the taxotere and carboplatin (the chemo that makes you lose your hair). Better days are coming since my hair is growing back now. Since PAF absorbed the costs after Medicare which I pay myself, I am not losing anything. Thank you friends. Sincerely, Debbie Kidd-Beswick.

Review from CharityNavigator

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife was diagnosed with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (a rare form of sarcoma) in September of 2009. We belonged to an employer sponsored health maintenance organization (HMO) which has very strict rules about going out of network. It became evident that the expertise available within the HMO was insufficient to treat my wife's type of cancer. Only a handful of experts in treating this type of cancer were available, all requiring travel to get to. In July of 2010 my wife and I attended a support group function and Patient Advocate Foundation had a couselor and display at the meeting. It was here that I met Laurel, a counselor with the Patient Advocate Foundation. Laurel took me under her wing and provided every assistance I would need to fight the HMO for a referral outside of the HMO network.

When I made the initial request on behalf of my wife for a referral, the request was denied. We had to go through the entire appeals process and were denied each time, which I am told, happens with some frequency. In my state, after the appeals process with the insurance company is exhausted, there can be an appeal for an external review. When I requested the external review, the HMO capitulated and granted the referral to the ouside expert.

Laurel was behind me 100% and provided letters and backing to whether the appeals process with the HMO. Without the assistance and encouragement of the Patient Advocate Foundation, and specifically our wonderful counselor, Laurel, we may have never been granted the referral.

I know that the Patient Advocate Foundation helps out in many areas to support and advocate for paients as they struggle for treatment, payment assistance and approvals. Having been through this, I can tell you that it is very important to have someone help you advocate just to get noticed in the medical/insurance system.

I highly recommend Patient Advocate Foundation. My wife and I had a successful outcome with their assistance. I believe they will go to great lengths to provide any assistance they can and is within their means to provide.

Review from CharityNavigator

Kimberly P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started my initial contact with the Patient Advocate Foundation in November of 2011 when I found out that I needed to have a surgery for a gastrointestinal issue. I am without insurance and have been for quite some time and the surgery that I needed to have was done by a doctor almost 3 hours away. The surgery was very expensive and in my initial contacts with the hospital and the company who makes the device that I needed to get to have the surgery I failed at getting financial assistance approval.

After an online search for patient services I stumbled upon PAF and was able to get a case manager within a week. The case managers communication was always consistent and when communication was needed with an outside person she was always on conference with me, it made it much easier to deal with.

It took almost a year with phone calls between us and the hospital, my doctor and the company who makes the device, but I was finally able to have the surgery. Prior to the surgery, my case manager was able to assist me with finding transportation and housing. I owe everything to PAF for sticking with me through this long process that seemed like would never get resolved and for following up with me to make sure everything was good to go.

Review from CharityNavigator

Client Served

Rating: 4

My name is Patricia Adkins and I am 27 year old cancer survivor! Last year (2012) I became a client with PAF after I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. My case manager , Tanya Walker was and still is fabulous!!! Tanya and I share a special bond in that we are both nurses. I knew that the person on the other end of the phone truly understood what I was going through. Tanya helped me navigate through the ever changing insurance world, checking on claims to see what their status was, and she explained what would happen next, as far as what I would have to pay once everything settled out and how long it may take for claims to actually finish filing. A year later I can say without a doubt I couldn't have done it without her. It was so comforting to know that I had someone else in my corner paying attention to all the "yucky" stuff so I could focus on recovery! Thanks Tanya! you rock!

Review from CharityNavigator

3 sethm

Client Served

Rating: 1

I applied for copay assistance from this organization by following all of the instructions that were provided. I tried numerous times to get a hold of them, but their phone lines were either closed or nobody answered. I sent a few emails that were never acknowledged, then I receive a notice explaining that the fund I applied for was full. This seems like some sort of scheme as the average person can't get through the process and they wont return my calls or emails. Looks like I am not the only one having this problem.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

I have had a similar experience to the previous review. I submitted an application, sent in required documents, then waited to hear back. No one contacted me for a month, so I called in. The lines are always busy, and any emails I send asking about my application status are not returned. This agency really needs to polish up its communication with patients.

3 Mary234

Client Served

Rating: 1

I have been trying to contact the representative I was assigned to for several weeks. When I call he is never available. I asked to be assigned to another person and was treated rudely.

Review from CharityNavigator