For those in the healthcare industry, ensuring the best possible patient outcomes is not only a goal, but an obligation. While there are a plethora of steps that companies can take to ensure positive outcomes, there are unfortunately some elements that are not within their control.
One of these potentially obstructive patient obstacles is the financial cost of care. Even with health insurance coverage, chronic conditions, and their complex treatment regimens can grow into a financial burden on individuals who are already struggling with daily life.
There’s good news: specialty pharmacies and hospital systems can help patients try to find financial assistance. There are a number of non-profit organizations and drug manufacturers that provide patient assistance programs (PAPs) to help ensure that patients receive the critical care that they may not otherwise be able to afford.
There are a number of independent 501(c)(3) organizations that exist solely to help patients receive assistance for their medical costs, including prescription drug copays, insurance premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses. See some top resources below.
Since its inception in 2004, the Patient Access Network Foundation, or PAN Foundation, has leveraged more than 50 disease-specific programs to provide more than $2.5 billion in financial assistance to more than 700,000 underinsured patients.
Patient Advocate Foundation
The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) has a number of programs for patients. In addition to financial assistance programs, the foundation provides arbitration, mediation, and negotiation to help settle patient access issues to care, job retention, and debt related to their illness.
HealthWell Foundation helps patients, providers, and advocates locate funding assistance for drug copayments, health insurance premiums, deductibles, and other costs. The foundation provides specific care funds like its Pediatric Assistance Fund and Emergency Cancer Relief Fund.
Formerly called the Chronic Disease Fund (which made the 2013 Forbes 50 Largest U.S. Charities List), Good Days works with doctors and pharmacies to help pay for patients’ out-of-pocket expenses. The Good Days website provides an extensive list of chronic diseases and medications they cover.
Drug Manufacturer Programs
Depending on the patient’s condition and treatment regimen, they may also be eligible to receive financial assistance from the manufacturer of the drug they have been prescribed. In some cases, an online search may be all that’s needed to find this information. Patients and providers can try typing “[drug’s name] patient assistance program” into a search engine’s search field and reading through the results.
Additionally, there are a number of resources that aggregate this information and provide convenient search functions to save the time and uncertainty of conducting your own search.
The Medicare.gov website allows patients to search for pharmaceutical assistance programs by clicking the first letter of their prescribed drug’s name. The site lists drug programs from non-profit organizations like the PAN Foundation, as well as manufacturer programs. With each listing, the site provides eligibility criteria and the benefits and assistance available for each drug.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also provides a collection of downloads and resources for pharmaceutical manufacturer patient assistance programs.
Third-Party Organizations and Search Tools
In addition to non-profit organizations and drug manufacturers, there are also third-party informational organizations that help to connect healthcare companies and patients with eligible resources.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance website allows individuals to search for their options based on drug name, program name, or company name, as well as download an extensive list of participating programs. They also offer a patient assistance search tool to match patients with programs for which they may qualify.
RxAssist is a comprehensive database and directory for both healthcare professionals and patients. The site provides information on patient assistance programs, as well as news, articles, tools, and resources for finding the information that these individuals need.
Allies for Patient Health
A multitude of resources exists for specialty pharmacies and hospital systems to help patients track down financial help for treatment – if you know where to find them. The more you know about these resources, the more efficiently you can get patients started on their therapies without delay.
Contact CPS, your ally for patient health, today for help launching, growing, or scaling a specialty pharmacy, and learn more about best practices to simplify therapy management for you and your patients.