Patient Advocate Foundation’s Co-Pay Relief Program Celebrates 10 Year Milestone
Second oldest co-pay assistance program in America has provided patients with over $200 million in direct financial assistance.
HAMPTON, Va., April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In the spring of 2004, the leaders at Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) launched a revolutionary new division that would help patients afford the copayment costs required by their insurance plans before they could access their needed medications. “We saw a trend in our data that showed that more and more patients were struggling to afford the out-of-pocket costs of their pharmacy needs. In 2002, just 5% of the patients served by our case managers cited unaffordable copayments as the reason they were unable to access their care. This number rose to 31% in 2003 and it was then that we knew there was something that we could and must do to serve these patients, ” shared Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Founder and Board Chairman of the Patient Advocate Foundation. To address this need, Davenport-Ennis and her team began building the framework for an independent division of PAF that would provide financial assistance directly to patients, helping them pay for their medication copayments. Officially launched in April 2004 as the Co-Pay Relief (CPR) program, patients would now be able to receive financial grants to help pay the portion of their medications not paid by their health insurance.
When launched, the Co-Pay Relief program was only the second patient assistance program in the country to address unaffordable copayments. Operating under a favorable opinion by the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the program provided financial assistance for insured patients who qualified medically and financially with cash copayments for their prescription drugs. After only a few months, utilization of the CPR program grew rapidly, allocating all donated funds monthly to ensure a maximum benefit to each approved patient. The first year of operations concluded with a total of 5 operating disease silos and 1,259 patients each awarded over $2,000 towards their medications.
“Without the support of our generous donors, we would not have been able to help as many patients as we have. The numbers of patients that need this type of program continues to grow, and I’m continually moved by the financial generosity of our donors to meet the need,” added Davenport-Ennis.
This month, the CPR program completes its 10(th) year of operations. Today, the CPR team is comprised of a dedicated staff of close to 60 professionals who work tirelessly on behalf of the tens of thousands of patients being served by the program each year. The program continues to grow in efficiency with distribution models that are rooted in the core philosophy of providing each patient with exceptional customer service during the emotionally draining times of a chronic or life-threatening diagnosis. “Looking back over the years, it is truly phenomenal in how far we’ve come in our ability to serve patients in a high-quality, expeditious manner. Today we have so many tools that accelerate a patient’s access to critical funds, and I look forward to the next stage in the life of the CPR program as we continue to serve patients in efficient and effective ways by assisting them as they navigate the every challenging reimbursement landscape,” stated Fran Castellow, MSEd., President of Operations for Patient Advocate Foundation. Today, the CPR program offers 24/7 online access for not only patients, but healthcare providers and pharmacy professionals, as well as personalized phone support via the toll-free number 866-512-3861.
Notable milestones along CPR’s 10-year journey include:
Issued first payment of $867 dispensed on behalf of a 71-year- old Lung Cancer patient enrolled in Medicare to pay for chemotherapy April 2004 medication. April 2004 Launched online website housing critical program information for patients and applicants at www.copays.org. Awarded a favorable ruling from the Office of the Inspector General within the Department of Health and Human Services that approved 27 disease categories that could be October 29, 2004 serviced by the program. Expanded headquarters location by securing an additional 4,500 square feet for CPR operations, thereby supporting a program staff of 32 application and approval November 2005 specialists. Launched online program portal specific for healthcare providers, allowing submission of online applications and expenditure forms July 2006 for 24/7 access. Patient Advocate Foundation's CPR program cited for the first time as the top preferred co-pay program for helping patients by Providers in Kantar Health's Oncology Market Spring 2009 Access survey. Patient Advocate Foundation awarded a 4-star exceptional rating by Charity Navigator, the country's leading independent evaluator of charities for financial health and April 2010 transparency. October 2012 Updated funding model for patients to ensure each approved patient has a guaranteed amount towards their medications. September 2013 Implemented live Spanish support with bilingual CPR staff to more effectively serve Spanish-speaking callers. CPR will open the first in class patient assistance program that addresses the copayment needs for patients receiving personalized treatment based on molecular biomarkers, through its Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers, Molecular May 2014 Biomarkers Specifics silo.
In fiscal year 2012/2013, the CPR program distributed over $32.6M to more than 18,000 patients and was recognized by Practice Managers in Kantar Health’s US Oncology Market Access survey as the top co-pay program in the nation for the 4(th) consecutive year. Since inception, the CPR program has worked with over 115,000 patients and has allocated over $200 million dollars in support on behalf of those patients.
About Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief Program
The Co-Pay Relief Program is an independent division of the nonprofit Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), which celebrates its 10th year providing financial assistance to patients in 2014. A pioneer in the field of copayment support programs, PAF’s Co-Pay Relief program has provided more than $200 million in financial assistance to more than 115,000 patients who would have been otherwise unable to afford their pharmaceutical copayments since 2004. Applications are accepted from insured patients who financially and medically qualify, including those covered by government sponsored insurance programs such as Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare. Keeping with PAF’s emphasis on patient-centric service, the program also offers individualized assistance to all patients through trained, professional staff who personally guide them through the enrollment process. For more information about PAF’s Co-Pay Relief program and the diseases in which support is available, visit www.copays.org/diseases or call 866-512-3861.
SOURCE Patient Advocate Foundation