The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF at http://www.patientadvocate.org) is a national non-profit organization that will provide active mediation services to U.S. patients diagnosed with a life threatening disease. More broadly, its website offers a range of information for individuals with disabling or life-threatening conditions. Information is also provided in Spanish.
PAF’s mission statement is that it “seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment, and preservation of their financial stability.”
In more concrete terms, the Foundation “offers assistance to patients with specific issues they are facing with their insurer, employer and/or creditor regarding insurance, job retention, and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis of life threatening…diseases.” Also, the Foundation offers, “If you’re dealing with a debt crisis… and feel like there is nowhere else to turn, turn to our staff to provide you with avenues you can use in order to remedy the situation and get on with your life.”
The organization is driven by a board of highly accomplished leaders and experts in the realms of disability law, patient advocacy, and medicine.
But There’s Much More
Additionally there’s much to gain from exploring the PAF site. For example:
n To find local sources of financial relief for a broad range of needs, access the “State by State Financial Resource Guide.” As promised, it offers information on sources of aid at the local level for housing, utilities, food, transportation to medical treatment, home health care, medical devices, and pharmaceutical agents.
n Read about PAF’s Copayment Assistance Program.
n Review the free downloadable guides the site offers. Examples include “First My Illness, Now Job Discrimination: Steps to Resolution,” “Your Guide to the Appeals Process,” “Your Guide to the Disability Process,” and “Managed Care Answer Guide.”
n Read articles on the Foundation’s activities that have been published recently in leading publications addressing the problems facing individuals with debilitating conditions. Examples: “Maneuvering the Maze of Medicare Part D,” describing how PAF helped a patient in navigating the application process; and “Co-Pay Relief Really Does Save Lives,” with stories of patients who have been helped by PAF’s Copayment Assistance Program.