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Patient Advocate Foundation
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In the Media

Patient Advocate Foundation has been featured in many publications and news articles over the years. Below is a summary of where we have appeared...

PAF Media Report

April 2012

CSC Team Trains Patient Advocate Foundation Case Managers
April 11, 2012
Cancer Support Community Blog

This blog covers information about a recently completed training of Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) case managers, which focused on CSC’s robust programs and resources including the affiliate network, the Frankly Speaking About Cancer Educational Series and the new CSC Cancer Support Helpline. The overarching purpose of the visit was to train PAF’s case managers to better understand the cancer patient and family experience given CSC’s nearly 30 years of experience.

AMIC praises report on prior authorization
Aunt Minnie
April 24, 2012

This article reports that Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) applauds the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) for its report that found a detrimental impact of prior authorization programs on access to imaging procedures. According to AMIC, "PAF's internal case management data showed a doubling over the past four years of insurance coverage denials to patients seeking imaging services. Ninety percent of these denials were actually covered by those health plans, and 81% of the insurance denials for imaging procedures were due to prior authorization programs."

Study: Imaging insurance denials on the rise
April 25, 2012

This article reports on case management data released by the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) about denials to patients seeking critical imaging services by their insurance providers. PAF examined the use of prior authorization programs for medical imaging services and found that, of the 4,360 patients who contacted PAF between 2007 and 2011 for help in gaining the test they needed, 81 percent of the insurance denials for imaging procedures were due to prior authorization programs. Approximately one-third of PAF imaging cases involved uninsured patients, and another third of PAF imaging cases involved patients covered by commercial insurance. PAF imaging cases of uninsured patients nearly doubled during the four-year period. The majority of PAF imaging cases had a primary diagnosis of cancer (80.4 percent), followed by 8 percent for screening for symptoms, and 5.1 percent for chronic/debilitating conditions.

This article was also posted on CMIO:

Report: Most Imaging Insurance Denials Due to Prior Authorization
Diagnostic Imaging
April 25, 2012

This article, similar to the two above, reports on the PAF data about imaging denials released in late April. It states that "the report was produced by the nonprofit Patient Advocate Foundation, which provides case management services to Americans with chronic conditions, and the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance’s Advocacy Research Working Group." MITA "urged Congress to instead pursue appropriateness criteria to manage imaging utilization." And "The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition also applauded the report, noting there has been no scientific research on the safety or impact on costs of radiology benefit managers."

Patient Advocate Foundation Study Documents Impact of Insurance Coverage Denials on Patient Access to Medical Imaging
Right Time Right Scan
April 26, 2012

This article reports again that Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) applauds the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) for its report that found a detrimental impact of prior authorization programs on access to imaging procedures. It mentions the data collected by PAF from 2007 – 2011 regarding health insurance coverage denials for medical imaging services. Tim Trysla, executive director of AMIC is quoted as saying, "This report shines light once again on the detrimental impact of artificial barriers to patient access to life-saving medical imaging services, including timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other debilitating disease states. Personal health care decisions should be made between patients and their physicians, not by a bureaucratic go-between whose primary interest is cost-cutting. Instead of mitigating utilization of life-saving technologies, policymakers should seek evidence-based, physician-developed appropriateness criteria to guide the proper use of imaging services and ensure patient access to the right scan at the right time."

How to Protect Yourself from Bankruptcy and Medical Bill Disaster
Health MAGA: The Health Magazine
April 30, 2012

This article covers ways to protect against bankruptcy due to medical bills. The article states that while you are well you should: (1) Never let your policy lapse, (2) Budget for health care like you do for gas, and (3) Get to know your policy. Under #3, PAF’s Erin Moaratty is quoted saying, "You’re more likely to get claims covered when you strictly follow your insurer’s requirements. Read your policy thoroughly to see what the rules are for seeing out-of-network doctors, getting preapproval for procedures, etc."

Governor signs bills to fight cancer
The Virginia Gazette
April 30, 2012
From the Governor’s Office

This "article" comes from Governor Bob McDonnell’s office and reports that he signed six pieces of legislation that expand Virginia's support for cancer research, treatment and education. It states that he was joined by representatives from National Patient Advocate Foundation, among many other groups.

March 2012

Oral chemo legislation will help save lives
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Letter to the Editor by Nancy Davenport-Ennis
March 2, 2012

This letter to the editor written by CEO Nancy Davenport-Ennis applauds the passage of legislation by Virginia's House of Delegates and Senate that will require group and individual health insurance plans to cover oral chemotherapy drugs on terms no less favorable than coverage provided for IV chemotherapy, thereby helping hundreds of Virginia's families dealing with a cancer diagnosis of a loved one. It recognizes the tireless work of volunteers across the commonwealth from the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF).

VA. may require parity for chemotherapy drugs
The Daily Press
By Prue Salasky
March 3, 2012

This article reports on the push in the Virginia legislature for insurance carriers to cover oral chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment at the same rate as their intravenous counterparts. It states that "Oral chemotherapy drugs have become widely available and are often the preferred treatment both for their convenience and their efficacy. The current disparity occurs because health insurance plans often cover oral drugs under prescription drug plans, whereas IV drugs are covered more comprehensively as a medical procedure." The article goes on to say that patient advocates have lobbied for equal coverage. CEO Nancy Davenport-Ennis is quoted as saying, "Oral chemotherapy drugs taken at home lend greater compliance to treatment protocols by patients who miss less time from work and family responsibilities. This legislation enhances the opportunity for physicians and patients to make treatment decisions based on the best treatment protocol for each patient's particular case."

Are there any affordable health insurance providers?
Health Insurance Providers blog
March 9, 2012

This blog discusses the struggles in finding affordable health insurance and says that it doesn’t have to be impossible. It links to a recent CNN article that listed several outlets to use when trying to find health insurance after you’ve lost your job. This list included information about Patient Advocate Foundation, stating "they can provide you with both information and financial assistance."

Busting Clinical Trials Myths
1 Up on Cancer blog
March 16, 2012

This blog covers myths tied to cancer, specifically clinical trials. Information about PAF and its services is listed underneath the myth titled "Insurance companies do not pay for your care if you enter a trial." The blog states: "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will soon require all health insurers to pay routine care in phase I through phase IV trials. They will also be prohibited from dropping coverage because an individual chooses to participate in a trial. In the meantime, if you need help with reimbursement issues, Patient Advocate Foundation will work directly with your insurance company, and advocate on your behalf."

February 2012

Need help with medical costs? These agencies may help…
The Cancer Alliance of Marion County, Florida
February 2, 2012

This blog lists PAF and its Co-Pay Relief Program as resources for cancer patients who need assistance with medical bills.

Political Amnesia Hurts Patients
WTKR – News Channel 3
By Barbara Ciara
February 6, 2012

This broadcast/print piece on Hampton Roads’ local news channel WTKR covers information about the upcoming political season, specifically including ways to fix the broken healthcare system. Two cases solved by Patient Advocate Foundation were briefly covered. Information about PAF and ways to contact the organization was provided. In conclusion, the broadcast mentioned the upcoming Promise of Hope fundraiser.

Get more from a second doctor's opinion Magazine
By Anne C. Lee
February 7, 2012

This article provides information on how to make each doctor’s visit worth your time and money. Steps include: (1) Check your coverage, (2) Find the right doctor, and (3) Get your papers in order. PAF’s Erin Moaratty is quoted in the Check your coverage section: "If your insurer won’t pay, appeal with a letter from your doctor that addresses the specific reason for the denial."

Dramatic weight loss complications
February 14, 2012
By Emily Dishnow

This story out of Naples, Florida covers the dramatic weight loss of Mark Leipski and his struggle with insurance because they won’t pay to remove his excess skin. The article reports, "Insurance plans that cover weight loss surgery, or skin removal after significant weight loss, often cost more. Cigna says that's why most employers pick plans without this coverage."

It goes on to provide tips if you are in a battle with your health insurance provider over a procedure or coverage. One of those tips is to contact Patient Advocate Foundation. CEO Nancy Davenport-Ennis is quoted here saying, "Be persistent. Appeal again and again and again. You may go through three or four levels of appeals before you get a favorable resolution."

Davenport-Ennis: Bringing fairness to patients' coverage
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Op-Ed by Nancy Davenport-Ennis
February 22, 2012

This Opinion piece written by CEO Nancy Davenport-Ennis raises concern over the disparity in the coverage of orally administered chemotherapy drugs. It goes on to say "By enacting oral chemotherapy parity legislation this year, our lawmakers can help Virginia's patients access the chemotherapy treatment of their choice, experience fewer side effects, maintain their jobs during a time of economic fragility, and spend more time at home with their loved ones." Nancy goes on to provide statistics from PAF’s 15-year experience in assisting nearly 688,000 cancer patients, including 7,165 Virginians in 2011, and states that equity in reimbursement for orally administered chemotherapy is a leading concern for patients. The piece ends with a call to Virginia legislators to support this "win/win proposal to assure financial parity for insured patients who will benefit from oral chemotherapy products."

Helping Patients Get a Fair Shake
The Daily Press
By Prue Salasky
February 22, 2012

This thorough article covers a great deal of information about Patient Advocate Foundation including why it was founded in 1994, information about Cheryl Grimmel, what PAF does, how many employees work for PAF, how many satellite offices are around the nation, information about National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), PAF’s growth over the years and what needs to change in the healthcare system. The article also includes a link to PAF’s website.

Legislative Victory Launched Legacy of Patient Advocacy
The Daily Press
By Prue Salasky
February 22, 2012

This article reports on Former Del. Mary T. Christian’s relationship to the Patient Advocate Foundation, stating that she sponsored a 1994 bill in the General Assembly that triggered PAF’s initial work. The article goes on to describe how PAF started, how she came to know CEO Nancy Davenport-Ennis and the introduction of similar legislation in 17 states to secure coverage for federal employees. Finally, the article states that Christian noticed in the pie chart showing people who'd taken advantage of the foundation's services, there were two little slivers: African-Americans and Hispanics. Since those are the groups with the greatest disparities in health care, Davenport-Ennis asked Christian to coordinate a program to target those groups and make them aware of the services available to them. Now there's a national outreach program in place for both groups.

Hampton health advocacy group ranked second in nation
Cancer Kick blog
February 22, 2012

This blog covers information about PAF and its recent support of the cancer community in lobbying the Virginia General Assembly to have insurance companies cover oral chemotherapy drugs at the same rate as intravenous drugs. It also states, "The past two years PAF has received the top, 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, an organization that rates nonprofits on their fiscal management, transparency and service. Out of 5,500 charities examined, 238 received 4 stars. It was also honored recently by the personal finance news website, MainStreet, as the No. 2 charity in the nation for its performance, behind Give Kids the World. Between 91 and 92 percent of PAF’s funds goes to program services, with less than 8 percent spent on administration."

New pills gain in cancer fight, till cost gets in way
By Elizabeth Simpson
February 27, 2012

This article reports on two patient cases – Jim Holt and Patient Advocate Foundation patient Cindy Jones, a Virginia Beach resident who is battling her third type of cancer. It discusses the bills that piled up over the years due to IV chemo drugs and oral medications. Eventually her coverage through COBRA ran out and she struggled to pay her bills. In 2010, Jones discovered PAF, "a Hampton-based group that helps with co-pays through grants and by connecting her with other charity programs." The article reports that "the foundation has been lobbying for passage of parity bills for chemo meds. Larry Lanier, its vice president of government affairs, said that the group helped 287,000 people across the country in 2010 pay for $31 million in drugs. In Virginia, it has helped more than 6,000 patients."

January 2012

Get More From a Second Opinion
Money Magazine
By Anne C. Lee
January/February 2012

This article provides information on how to make each doctor’s visit worth your time and money. Steps include: (1) Check your coverage, (2) Find the right doctor, and (3) Get your papers in order. PAF’s Erin Moaratty is quoted in the Check your coverage section: "If your insurer won’t pay, appeal with a letter from your doctor that addresses the specific reason for the denial."

More hit with fees for doctor's extra phone calls, filings.
The practice is growing, partly because of tasks demanded by the insurance companies.
By Lisa Zamosky, Special to Tribune Newspapers
Orlando Sentinel
January 10, 2012
Link not available
This article covers information about why charging for administrative services isn't yet widely common. Reasons include: the bad economy, a downward trend in physician reimbursement and a growing list of administrative tasks heaped onto physician practices by insurance companies. The article provides information about PAF and quotes Nancy Davenport-Ennis, "Five years ago, if a patient needed assistance obtaining pre-authorization from an insurance company for medical care, the doctor's office could just pick up the phone and get it approved, explains Nancy Davenport-Ennis, chief executive and founder of Patient Advocate Foundation, a national nonprofit based in Hampton, Va. The same process today could require multiple letters with supporting documentation and multiple telephone conversations."
  • Also printed in Baltimore Sun on January 5, 2012. Link not available
  • Also posted on Fight Back blog:

Health Literacy Out Loud #71: Talking About Medical Debt
Health Literacy Out Loud
January 11, 2012

The above comes from Health Literacy Out Loud, a podcast explaining why health literacy matters and teaching practical ways to help. This specific podcast covers medical debt and features Erin Moaratty and information about PAF and its programs.

Amgen Tour Hosting Courageous Rider Jersey Design Contest
Prevent Cancer
Posted by Meghan Keane, Public Affairs, Policy & Advocacy Associate
January 11th, 2012

This comes from Prevent Cancer blog and shares information about this year’s Breakaway from Cancer/Amgen Tour of California. Specifically, this focuses on the rider jersey design contest, but at the end, it lists collaborative partners, including PAF.

Bursting at the seams
Dead Man Skipping blog
January 11, 2012

This article comes from a blog titled "Dead Man Skipping" which is written by a breast cancer patient. In her blog posted on January 11th, she has just learned that she qualifies for help from PAF’s Co-Pay Relief Program! She states: "Little did I know that I was about to receive some fabulous news. It seems that because of my diagnosis, I qualify for something called Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief. What?!! Are you serious?!! This means that not only do I not have to pay any of my co-pays for the entire year of 2012, but my deductible and out of pocket expenses will be taken care of, too!! I can hardly sit still for the excitement is bubbling up within me and threatening to explode! Who knew such a thing existed?"

Why It's Hard to Stick With Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Many factors lead patients to noncompliance
MSN Health
By Amanda Gardner
January 23, 2012

This article from MSN Health reports on the difficulties and costs to treat rheumatoid arthritis. "While the payoff can be huge — preventing or at least slowing down potentially disabling joint destruction — it's still hard for patients to stick with the treatment, whether it's pills, self-administered injections, or three-hour-long infusions given in a doctor's office." The article does focus heavily on the cost and lists PAF’s Co-Pay Relief Program as a resource "that helps people with RA cover their co-payments and other medical expenses."

Health 411: Lab fee differences; dental implant coverage
Los Angeles Times
By Lisa Zamosky
January 30, 2012

This article from Los Angeles Times covers a Q&A about lab fees and dental coverage. Regarding differences in lab fees throughout a coverage network, Erin Moaratty from PAF is quoted, "You can challenge the charges if you have a printout of the book with the lab listed as in-network, says Erin Moaratty, chief of external communications with the Patient Advocate Foundation, a national nonprofit based in Hampton, Va. But you'll have a slim chance of winning the fight, because there are messages posted throughout such books saying you have to verify the information. The onus is on you to make sure the information is up to date."