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PATIENT ADVOCATE NEWS EDITOR’S NOTE

JAN FEB 2011

N e w s a n d i n fo r m at i o n a b o u t p at i e nt a s s i s t a n c e p ro g r a m s a n d ot h e r h e a l t h c a r e a s s i s t a n c e Dear Patient Advocates, Happy 2011! We’ve been hearing so many wonderful things about the NeedyMeds drug discount card; folks have been saving money right and left. Susan Macdonald left a nice note on our Facebook Page saying that she saved $35 back in December, and she wasn’t even going to “bother trying” to use the card! The card has also saved entire towns money; our partnership with the city of Gloucester, MA has saved residents $100,000 in prescription drug costs. Since we introduced the card in April 2009, we have saved people more than $4.8 million. We are proud of what we do, and we are always working to make patients’ and advocates’ experiences better. Please take our website survey and let us know how we can improve your experience with our website. Take care,

Vikki Sloviter

Earlier this year, Leslie Bachurski contacted us to ask if we could interview her for an issue of PAN. We were happy to ask her about Consumer Health Coalition, a nonprofit that helps folks access public health programs. Vikki: Thanks so much for contacting us. Consumer Health Coalition (CHC) provides such a wealth of information and resources to the public, especially those in Southwestern Pennsylvania where CHC is headquartered. Please tell us about the history and vision of CHC. Leslie: The image of CHC grew from the September 1995 conference, “Building a Coalition: Giving Consumers a Voice in Shaping Health Services.” Together, the participants recognized that other health care stakeholders were well organized, but there was no organization that voiced the needs of the consumer, especially those at greatest risk for experiencing barriers to the health system. With generous funding from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and technical support provided by Community Catalyst, CHC was formed! Fourteen years later, CHC has established itself as a leading consumer health advocacy organization in Southwestern

Pennsylvania. Our Board of Directors, staff, network of volunteers, and community partners work hard to advance our mission “to inspire a consumer movement to advance health and enhance access to quality, affordable health care.” Vikki: CHC’s primary mission is to reduce barriers to health care. In your experience with CHC, what are the three largest barriers for Pennsylvanians, and how has CHC helped knock them down? Leslie: The health care system can be incredibly complex and difficult for consumers to navigate, especially those with lower literacy levels and/or those that speak limited English. CHC not only helps consumers complete applications, but also we work with county assistance offices on their behalf to rectify any problems to ensure that health coverage is obtained for those who are eligible. (Continued on next page)


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(CHC continued from page one) CHC also conducts ongoing training with community-based organizations to educate them on the application process and changes to programs, so they can best assist their consumers. Pennsylvania has a lot of rural areas, which can make information dissemination difficult. To ensure that geographical distance does not mean less access to health care, CHC conducts extensive outreach in rural areas. Our outreach initiatives have included: attending family fairs, contacting school nurses and guidance counselors, partnering with parent-teacher organization leaders, and many others. A recent influx of immigrants in and around Pittsburgh has increased the need for language interpretation services when seeking medical care and applying for public insurance programs. To combat this barrier, CHC recently hired a parttime bilingual staff member and developed culturally competent health education tools to serve the growing Latino community. With assistance from our community partners, we recently completed an issue brief that describes the barriers that immigrants and refugees face in accessing health care. Vikki: Who is CHC’s target audience? Consumers? Advocates? Health workers? What is the best way to use CHC’s website? Leslie: All of the above! If you visit our website you will find information about all of our programs, advocacy tools, news and events. You also can request help from our outreach and enrollment staff by clicking on “Get Help Now.” For our Spanish-speaking consumers, check out the section “En Español.”

Vikki: How exactly does CHC educate consumers about the changes that may affect them with the new health care reform laws?   Leslie: CHC hosts educational events and community forums to educate consumers about the Affordable Care Act and how implementation will affect their health care. We also post blogs and keep our website up to date with new information as we receive it. And, we send email blasts when there is urgent information or advocacy opportunities available. We plan to continue to educate consumers about reform and find that when people truly understand the Affordable Care Act, they support the legislation in overwhelming numbers.   Vikki: Tell our readers about the different programs CHC sponsors, and the advocacy work with which it is engaged. Leslie: CHC operates a Health Committee for People with Disabilities. It is a cross-disability group that meets monthly and works on a variety of advocacy efforts including expanding home- and community-based services. We developed the “Academy of Empowered Consumers,” a workshop series that empowers consumers to understand and take charge of their health care. CHC leads a statewide coalition called the PA Campaign for Better Care. The campaign focuses on improving quality and coordination of care for seniors and those with chronic health conditions. CHC is also a founding member of the PA Health Access Network. Through this coalition CHC works on health reform at both the state and federal levels. We host local rallies, have phone slams, send postcard campaigns, submit letters to the editor, and engage in other advocacy efforts aimed at improving access to quality, affordable health care.    (Continued on next page)

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(CHC continued from page two) Vikki: In 2009 CHC was one of two grantees in the state of Pennsylvania to receive Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) funding. In what ways has CHC used the grant funds, and how many children in PA have been helped as a result? Leslie: CHC was thrilled to receive funding to support outreach and enrollment initiatives to help uninsured families access CHIP and Medical Assistance for their kids. Although Pennsylvania has been a pioneer in reaching and enrolling kids in CHIP, many kids are still without coverage. This funding has allowed us to ramp up our efforts, and to make sure that we are targeting “hard to reach” populations. Since the grant began in late September 2009, CHC has assisted more than 350 families. CHC helped families with applications for CHIP or Medical Assistance, program reauthorizations, and ensured that newborns, identified through partner organization the Birth Circle, had access to health care. Vikki: The CHC’s Winter 2010 newsletter highlights the “Tracking Barriers to Care for Immigrants” project. Tell us about this initiative and what it hopes to accomplish. Leslie: Through CHC’s enrollment efforts, we discovered that language barriers are one reason that many children are losing coverage. As a result, CHC reached out to several of its partner organizations that also work with consumers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). A group was formed and charged with identifying and tracking barriers experienced by LEP consumers. A tracking form was created and organizations were asked to document barriers as they happened. When CHC began analyzing the barriers, trends were immediately identified. It was obvious to CHC that consumers with limited English proficiency faced the challenge of receiving legally required translation services when seeking and accessing medical care. This, in many cases, led to a lack of informed consent. It was also clear that their limited English caused delays and lapses in health insurance coverage.

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The report outlines CHC’s process and findings. It also highlights several examples of barriers faced by clients of CHC and our partner agencies. It is meant to serve as a public education tool, and for use in advocacy efforts to address and eliminate barriers and to promote positive change. Vikki: I noticed that CHC is a founding member, and on the Leadership Team, of PA Health Access Network. What is PHAN, and what is CHC’s role and relationship? Leslie: The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) is a statewide coalition of organizations working to protect high-quality health insurance coverage for individuals and businesses and to expand coverage to the uninsured. PHAN works with local organizations and communities across the Commonwealth to turn public anxiety about declining health care coverage into a sustained public voice for reform. PHAN works to promote change at state and national levels by mobilizing affected constituencies—including consumers, health care providers, business, labor, the faith community, and the general public—to press for a more accessible and affordable health care system. The coalition participates in the Consumer Voices for Coverage initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports state advocacy efforts by fostering strong and robust advocacy infrastructures. The vision of Consumer Voices for Coverage is to enhance the critical role that advocates play in shaping and promoting comprehensive health reform. This $15 million initiative strengthens existing advocacy networks in 12 states, including Pennsylvania. Community Catalyst, a national non-profit consumer health advocacy organization headquartered in Boston, coordinates the effort nationwide. As a leadership team member, CHC provides input and insight on policy issues at both the state and federal level that have the potential to impact insurance coverage for Pennsylvanians. CHC also assists in the development and execution of (Continued on next page)


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(CHC continued from page three) advocacy efforts directed toward increasing public and political awareness and support for insurance coverage issues. Vikki: Finally, if you were granted one wish that could be used for anything to change health care in this country in any way, what would it be? And, how can our readers learn more about CHC? Leslie: That’s simple! Our wish would be that every person residing in the U.S. has access to affordable, high-quality health care! To learn more about CHC feel free to check out our website at www.consumerhealthcoalition.org or contact our office at 412-456-1877. Thanks, Vikki, for giving us the opportunity to share our mission and vision, and hopes and goals with your PAN readers! Q. What’s the fastest way to see if a patient is in our clinic’s PAPTracker database? A. This works for both active and inactive patients: Go to the <Patients> drop-down menu and select <Patient Profile>. Enter the first 4 or 5 letters of the patient’s last name and .click the magnifying glass icon. If the patient is in your database, then his or her name will appear. If you have not created a record then you will see “No match.”

Do you have PAPTracker questions? Need an explanation? Please drop Roberta an e-mail at: paprxtracker@needymeds.com.

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Survey Says! Last fall we conducted an annual survey of our organization. In an effort to provide the best, most comprehensive services we can, we wanted to know more about our consumers. More than 500 people responded. We now know that... • Almost 50% of the respondents use our website throughout the day. • 84% use our website for their job. • 94.5% use our website to look up PAPs. • 87.2% said they would recommend our website for work, and 72.8% said they would recommend us for personal use. • 70% thought our website was easier to navigate and read than similar websites. • 27% are social workers, 21% medical professionals, followed by nonprofit employees (9%), clinic workers (8%), non-medical professionals (6%) and others. • 29% work for a “large” organization, followed by corporate (28%), medium (16.6%), small (13%), “other” (2.5%) and sole owner (2.5%). • 27.7% are from the midwest, followed by southeast (18.3%), northeast (14.2%), south (11.3%), southwest (8%), central (5.5%) and remaining regions. We are now conducting a new survey, asking consumers about our website services. Please click here to take it.


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Sharpen Your Pencil! Think you know the basics of the Affordable Care Act? Last year Kaiser Health Tracking Poll posed 10 provisions about the Act—five that were true and five that were false —to a representative sample of Americans. Twenty-five percent answered 7 or more right, 65% got just half correct, and less than 1 percent got a perfect score. How well will you do? Take the quiz, then check your answers on the last page of this issue. Even if you don’t get them all right, we’ll give you an A for Advocate! You can view the full data note at www.kff.org.

The Affordable Care Act... 1

… provides subsidies to low- and moderate-income Americans.

2

… allows a government panel to make end-of-life decisions for people on Medicare.

3

… prohibits insurers from denying coverage because of health status.

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… allows undocumented immigrants to receive financial help from the government to buy health insurance.

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… provides tax credits to small businesses that offer coverage to their employees.

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… cuts benefits that were previously provided to Medicare recipients.

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… has an individual mandate.

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… creates a new government-run insurance plan that will be offered with private plans.

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… expands the existing Medicaid program to cover low-income, uninsured adults regardless of if they have children.

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… requires all businesses, regardless of how small, to provide health insurance for all their employees.

True or False?


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Patient Advocate Joan San Filippo contacted us last year to let us know about the innovative clinic for which she works, the Waukesha Family Practice in Wisconsin. Lots of exciting things are happening there, so we asked her about them. Vikki: Thanks for contacting us. We love hearing from advocates at clinics! Tell us about the history and mission of Waukesha Family Practice. Joan: Waukesha Family Practice Center has been in place for the past 35 years. We are collaborative effort between the Medical College of Wisconsin and Waukesha Memorial Hospital in Waukesha, Wisconsin. We provide high-quality care to an underserved population regardless of their ability to pay. We are a teaching clinic that educates physicians in the specialty of family medicine during a three-year program and also offer them an optional fourth-year residency where they can get an MBA, MPH or an Advanced OB Mastery. Vikki: Is the fact that you’re a teaching facility atypical among free and sliding-scale clinics? Tell us more about this relationship, how it works and how it benefits patients and its physicians. Joan: It is atypical in this community, but there are other residencies in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the country that have this type of model. This relationship provides the following benefits for our physicians, our patients, and our community: 1. Benefit to physicians: Our faculty physicians see their own panel of patients in addition to overseeing and teaching our resident physicians, so they are always in touch with our patient population needs and requirements. Our resident physicians have the opportunity to see a broad spectrum of patients with a variety of medical conditions, consult with a very experienced faculty physician, and learn how to challenge their knowledge of medical care.

2. Benefit to patients: Our residency program has to stay current with medical trends, because it is participating in the education of physicians who will be teaching all over the country. This dynamic provides our patients with an opportunity to receive high level care at a reduced or free cost. 3. Benefit to the community: The residents have a variety of opportunities to volunteer their time in other ways by doing sports physicals in the high schools, providing medial care in a local free clinic, giving lectures to community groups on a number of medial topics and assisting in community projects during the clinic’s annual community day. Also, due to the ability of patients to access quality care and receive assistance for their medications that they cannot afford, there is a positive ripple effect throughout the community. Patients with stabilized or improving health conditions are able to continue working or return to work, have improved social relationships, increased quality of life, and are able to avoid costly emergency room visits and hospital stays. Vikki: One direction that some health care advocates have suggested would help reduce medical costs is that of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Your clinic recently received the highest-level certification (Level 3) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)—the nation’s leading nonprofit health care accreditation organization—for its model. Congratulations! Explain the PCMH, what six standards you had to meet to achieve level 3 status, and what this new certification means for the clinic and its patients. (Continued on next page)

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(Waukesha continued from page six) Joan: A Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) relies on a team-based approach where a primarycare physician provides coordinated care throughout a patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lifetime, ultimately reducing hospitalizations and minimizing costs in the long run. PCMH focuses more on outcomes than volume. Physicians gain better monitoring tools, focusing on efficiency by prescribing the most effective medications at the lowest cost, and care managers flagging duplicative tests and services. A PCMH uses all its personnel to the greatest extent of their ability to provide a team-centered care model for each patient. Patients have more discussions with their physician and staff about their condition and treatment, receive more information and tools on how to manage their condition, with the expectation that an educated patient will be more compliant with their treatment, including filling prescriptions and taking medications as prescribed. The PCMH model for clinics is a win for the pharmaceutical industry as it struggles to maintain costs and enhance patient compliance with prescription drug regimens. Using all these resources, PCMH focuses on better disease-state improvement outcomes for patients. There are nine standards that break down into 30 elements as part of the NCQA certification process. Each element has a number of points assigned to it. A clinic must submit data to achieve a minimum of 75 points that includes ten must pass elements to achieve certification. If a clinic achieves 75 or more points, but all ten must pass elements do not make up its point value, then the clinic will not get certified. The following are must pass elements: 1. Written standards for patient access and patient communication 2. Use of data to show meeting standards 3. Use of paper or electronic-based charting tools to organize clinical information 4. Use of data to identify important diagnoses and conditions in the practice

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5. Adoption and implementation of evidencebased guidelines for three conditions (We picked diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia as our three conditions) 6. Active support of patient self-management 7. Tracking system to test and identify abnormal results. 8. Tracking referrals with paper-based or electronic system 9. Measurement of clinical and/or service performance 10. Performance reporting by physician or across the practice The patients do not benefit as much from our clinic having the certification as they benefit from the processes that go into getting and maintaining the certification. Physician-patient access and communication are improved by having written standards and assessment tools to show that standards are being met. For patients that have one or more of the three conditions (the largest percentage of our patient population), we have developed evidence-based guidelines that provide for standardized initial treatment options for the best outcomes. Patients are encouraged and supported in their efforts to self-manage their conditions. Tracking systems are in place to follow up on abnormal test results and referrals to keep patients on track with all aspects of their health care. Vikki: As we know, not all medical centers and doctors are keen on using the Internet for electronic medical records or other repositories of patient medical information. But, your clinic has embraced such technology and recently launched a patient portal. What kind of conversations were there surrounding the feasibility of creating a portal and how has it made a difference in quality of care? Joan: An important role of Waukesha Family Medicine Residency Program is that we provide a variety of experiences for the physician residents utilizing the most current technology present today in health care. We would be failing to provide the highest quality education if we were not using an electronic medical record and looking to move the (Continued on next page)


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(Waukesha continued from page seven) technology forward, hence the start up of the patient portal. Since this function has been on board for only a short while, we don’t have many patients using it yet. But, we continue to provide more information about how this new service can help to improve the quality of their care and how patients can take a more active role by using the portal as a vehicle to communicate to the clinic and their physician. Vikki: Your clinic also has an active and successful patient assistance program, though I don’t see a link to it on the website. Describe the program for us (e.g., how many patients are enrolled, how much money in prescription medications are saved each year, how patients’ medications are managed). Joan: Our patient assistance program is very unusual compared to other clinics in the area in that I work in a role that is dedicated to helping our patients navigate the application process for their medications. Many clinics leave the PAP process completely up to the patient or have a nurse or medical assistant help them. But at our clinic, our physicians or staff refer a patient directly to me if he is unable to afford his prescription medications due to lack of insurance, lacks coverage for a particular medication or has fallen into the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” and cannot afford to pay the full cost of their medications while in the “hole.” After the patient fills out his portion of the application, he returns it to me with proof of income (if required) and I fill out the portion of the application that pertains to his physician and the clinic. After attaching a prescription, if required, I mail the information to the pharmaceutical company that provides assistance for the medication. If the patient’s application is approved, then the medication is received here at the clinic, checked into the patient’s chart, and the patient is called to pick up the medication. I keep track of when medications need to be reordered through a software program that we purchased for that purpose.

Through charting and tracking, all medications are documented and the patient’s medication regimen moves along without interruption. This has a tremendous impact on the patient’s health and wellbeing. We currently have 148 active patients in the program that receive assistance for 224 medications. We save our patients more than $200,000 a year on their medications. Since the patient portal is new, we have not added a link our Patient Assistance Program yet, but it is being considered for the future. Vikki: What other services does the clinic provide, what do you wish the clinic could offer that it doesn’t, and where do you see the clinic in five years? Joan: We offer many procedures that are not necessarily standard to a family practice facility, such as OB ultrasounds, colposcopies, vasectomies, fetal non-stress tests and flex sigmoidoscopies. In regards to patient advocacy, we work with patients to help them acquire insurance, if possible, and connect them with community resources to help meet their needs. We also apply for and often receive grant projects that address areas of care that are often forgotten, such as drug and alcohol screenings, the Reach Out and Read Program for our youngest patients, and screening and support for family and partner violence situations. We wish we could find funding to hire a social worker to help provide additional case management work and enhance the Patient Centered Medical Home model. We would like to find and get approved for a grant program to support and expand our Patient Assistance Program to include medical items that are not Rx or DME. In the near future we would like to develop a strong partnership with a satellite free clinic coming to the area, identify more community outreach opportunities for our resident physicians, and develop a Storks Nest program to assist our OB patients with improved participation in their care while providing the tools to lighten their workload (Continued on next page)

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(Waukesha continued from page eight) caring for their new babies. In five years, in order to accommodate these areas of interest and keep up with the needs of a growing population here in Waukesha, we will potentially need additional space and will be looking for ways to efficiently use or expand our facilities.

e s a e s i D

Vikki: Finally, how can our readers learn more about Waukesha Family Practice? Joan: They could visit the Waukesha Family Medicine Residency Program website at http:// www.waukeshafp.org/patients/patients.cfm for more information. We would welcome their interest in our program.

Are you taking advantage of one of our most comprehensive resources? NeedyMeds now has more than 25 Disease rce Resource Pages, dedicated, one-stop pages that save time for u so folks looking for information on specific diseases or conditions. e R The pages provide invaluable information and links to medical resources and support organizations for the specific disease, and list patient assistance programs for specific medications and programs that provide financial support for a wide range of needs (meals, medical equipment, adaptation needs, transportation, etc.). Here’s a full list of the disease resource pages currently available. We keep adding more, so check back on NeedyMeds regularly.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

ALS Ankylosing Spondylitis Arthritis Asthma and Allergies Autism Breast Cancer Cancer Cerebral Palsy COPD Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Cystic Fibrosis Diabetes Eczema Epilepsy Fibromyalgia Glaucoma Heart Disease Hemophilia

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

HIV/AIDS Huntington's Disease Kidney Disease Leukemia Liver Cancer Melanoma Multiple Sclerosis Muscular Dystrophy Neuropathy Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Osteoporosis Parkinson's Disease Prostate Cancer Psoriasis Pulmonary Hypertension Scleroderma Spina Bifida Stroke

NeedyMeds neither promotes nor endorses the therapies listed on our disease resource pages, nor the supporters on the pages. The pages are for educational purposes only.

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Vikki: Hi Robin. So you’re relatively new to NeedyMeds and have a background in graphic design. What did you do before joining us and why did you decide to switch careers (or at least jobs)? Robin: I’ve worked as a typesetter/graphic artist for studios and newspapers for most of my adult life. I started working for NeedyMeds in November 2009 having just moved from Vermont, where I worked as a graphic artist for a magazine publisher, office manager, proofreader and website administrator for the weekly newspaper, and a freelance videographer for the local TV station. It was serendipitous that Rich Sagall (president of NeedyMeds) and I were volunteering for the Cape Ann TV station here in Gloucester, Massachusetts during local elections when I told him I was new to the area and looking for a job. He called me the next day for an interview, and here I am today. Vikki: You are a database supervisor and manage several of our databases. How do you actually go about updating our databases? Where do you get the updates from, and how current is our information?

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Robin: The database software we use is set up to flag entries that need to be updated, so we go through each one to verify the information. We update PAPs every two months. If we can’t find the information we need on the program’s website, we make phone calls or emails to get it. I am responsible for updating the disease-based assistance programs, camps and scholarships, coupons, free clinics and state program databases. Vikki: What do you enjoy most about working for NeedyMeds? Robin: Because we’re a small staff doing big things, I get to wear many hats, which makes work interesting for me. I work with a dedicated and talented group of people that believe in what we’re doing, and that’s very important for me. It’s a good feeling that I’m part of an organization that is helping people who really need it. And I have a great boss who cares about his employees. I could go on and on. As you can probably guess, I really enjoy my job! Vikki: You are also our resident graphic designer. What do you do for NM on that front? Robin: I handle the design and printing of any materials, such as brochures, rack cards or drug discounts cards for NeedyMeds or potential customers. Currently we're in the process of making some design changes on our website, so I’ve been involved in that project. Also, I’m starting to tackle simple programming changes that need to be made to the website. Vikki: We get lots of emails from folks asking for assistance. Though we don’t provide direct financial or medical assistance, we do the best we can to direct them to resources that can help. Can you recount a story that particularly touched you, or that highlighted an aspect of our health care system that surprised you? What reassurance or information were you able to provide to that person? Robin: I used to work on the Help Line much more than I do now, but I’d hear so many stories from people who were barely making ends meet, and needed help with purchasing medicine, but had no insurance or not enough insurance. I remember a call from an older woman who

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Robin Hoffman

PATIENT ADVOCATE NEWS JAN FEB 2011

Get to Know


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(Robin continued from page ten) desperately needed medicine for her husband who had just been diagnosed with cancer. She was very upset because they couldn’t afford to pay for the medicine, which was outrageously expensive. I gave her the phone number of a PAP that might be able to help her. She called me back later that day thanking me, saying that they qualified for free medicine from the program. We often suggest that callers use our drug discount card for purchasing their medicine, especially to those who say they had no insurance. I’ve received calls from some of these people who let me know that they saved on their prescriptions. It’s so satisfying to hear back from them, knowing that we’re helping people out there who really need it. Vikki: We have several employees whose passions outside of work are in the arts (two graphic designers/artists, a photographer and a musician). What is it about artistic people that might lead them to work for an organization like NeedyMeds? Robin: I think artistic people like to put themselves out there—whether they’re performing for an audience or creating something to get a reaction. They like feedback—in this case receiving pleasure in helping others. It may sound very corny, but I really feel that’s part of it. Vikki: Finally, you have two grown children. Do they have health insurance? Robin: Luckily, they both do. But they’ve been given the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card to use if it helps, and to give out to their friends who might need help purchasing their prescriptions.

JUST THE MEDICARE PART D FACTS In 2010, 80% of PDPs did not offer coverage for medications while in the donut hole. Of the 20% that did, just 2% provided coverage for brand-name drugs. Approximately 9.8 million 2010 Part D enrollees received the low-income subsidy. In 1990, prescription drug spending was $40.3 billion. In 2008, it was $234.1 billion. The average monthly PDP premium in 2011 will be $40.72, a 10% increase from 2010 and a 57% increase from 2006 (the first year of the benefit). In 2009, AARP MedicareRx had the highest number of enrollees of any stand-alone PDP, 3 million. The number of PDPs available in 2011 is about 1/3 less than available in 2010. in 2011, 332 PDPs will be available to LIS enrollees for $0. 11


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Feel free to make copies and distribute our card to your patients. Card Front

Card Back

THERE’S AN IPHONE APP FOR THE DISCOUNT DRUG CARD! Not all needy patients are the same. While many of those that we assist may barely meet the federal poverty level and don’t know how they’re going to feed their families, others may be more comfortable but have recently lost their jobs and can’t pay for their costly prescriptions out of pocket. For the gadget-loving patients who, though they may have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance still have their iPhones, we have an app for them. NeedyMeds’ drug discount card is available as a free iTunes application. With the iTunes app, patients can show the pharmacist the app on their iPhone or iTouch (just like showing them the actual card) and receive discounts on their prescription medications. Click here to download the free NeedyMeds drug discount card app. (For a printable paper copy of our card, see the top of this page or visit our website, www.needymeds.org.) As always, the card and app are free to download and use.

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NM STAFF

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PAP UPDATES The following have been added to the BMS Patient Assistance Foundation : Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin HCl extendedrelease) tablets 5 mg/500 mg, Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin HCl extendedrelease) tablets 5 mg/1000 mg, and Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin HCl extended-release) tablets 2.5 mg/1000 mg. Valide (irbesartan/hydrochlorothiazide) tablets 150mg/12.5mg have been removed from the program. Valeant Patient Assistance Program and the Valeant Patient Assistance Program for Mysoline are now one program with one application. ViiV Healthcare Patient Assistance Program is a new program for HIV medications. It offers 10 drugs that were previously on GSK Bridges to Access Program. The meds have been removed from the Bridges to Access Program and are now on the ViiV program, with a new application. K-Dur, Cozaar and Hyzaar are no longer on the Merck PAP. Three products have been added to Rx Outreach: Prodigy Preferred™ Blood Glucose Monitor, Prodigy® No Coding Blood Glucose Strips and Prodigy® Twist Top Lancets 28G, Aricept (donepezil) tablet 5mg, 10mg; Leflunomide (aravar) tablet 10mg, 20mg; and Zonegran (zonisamide) capsule 25mg, 100mg.

BILL KYROUZ Research Assistant bkyrouz@needymeds.org

JAYE VANDUSSEN Vice President jaye@needymeds.org

ABBY MARSH Research Assistant abby@needymeds.org

ROBERTA DOWNEY Software Sales Manager roberta@needymeds.org

DAMARIS MERCEDES Research Assistant damaris@needymeds.org

VIKKI SLOVITER PAN Editor vikki@needymeds.org

ELIZABETH MESSENGER Research Assistant elizabeth@needymeds.org

CYNTHIA FOOTE Research Assistant cynthia@needymeds.org

SAMUEL RULON-MILLER Research Assistant samuel@needymeds.org

KAREN GRENHAM Office Assistant karen@needymeds.org

TONYA WHITE Research Assistant tonya@needymeds.org

ROBIN HOFFMAN Database Manager robin@needymeds.org

Needy INFO@NEEDYMEDS.ORG CALLUS 978-281-6666

Touchpoints Copay Assistance Program is a new program for Vivitrol Injection 380mg (naltrexone).

FAXUS 419-858-7221

We’ve added the Qutenza PAP for Qutenza Patch 8% (capsaicin) to our website.

WRITEUS PO Box 219 Gloucester, MA 01931

We have many more PAP application and program updates on our website. Keep checking! For a one-stop place to see PAP updates, join NeedyMeds Forums for free at forums.needymeds.com.

Quiz answers: 1T, 2F, 3T, 4F, 5T, 6F, 7T, 8F, 9T, 10F 13

RICHARD SAGALL, MD President richsagall@needymeds.org

NeedyMeds, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs. The information at NeedyMeds is available anonymously and free of charge. NeedyMeds does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender or sexual orientation.

January/Februrary 2011 PAN  

Patient Advocate News, a publication of NeedyMeds.

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