Patient Advocate Foundation Opens Office in Dare County, NC
Local RN Tracey Rock Named PAF Director of Outer Banks Operation to Offer Services at No Charge to Outer Banks Patients in Need of Assistance.
KILL DEVIL HILLS, NC (February 8, 2011) – Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) - a national organization that provides assistance to patients requiring access to care, medications, transportation for treatment, insurance appeals, enrollment into state and federal programs, and co-pays - today announced the opening of a new office at the Dare County Baum Center in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The new office will offer on-the-ground professional case management services to residents throughout the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
PAF provides case management assistance to patients across the country, but North Carolina remains one of the top ten states for the number of patient referrals and requests for assistance. In 2009 alone, 128,542 North Carolina patients contacted PAF for information, and 1,772 patients required one-on-one case management services.
“PAF is pleased and honored to partner with our neighbors in Dare County to provide to their residents mediation services for insurance denials, enrollment in government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability, and social welfare services that include finding solutions for medical debt crisis,” said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, CEO of PAF. “The people of Dare County are generous people that give millions of Americans a lifetime of vacation memories. PAF is delighted to join hands and hearts with this population to compliment their existing healthcare services provided by the health department, local physicians, hospitals and nonprofit community organizations. We thank the Dare County commissioners, the Health and Human Services Department, as well as local leaders for providing the office space to PAF and the opportunity to collaborate with the Dare County nonprofit patient organizations and government health agencies.”
In May 2007, Ronnie Bunch, Outer Banks resident, contacted PAF for assistance after he was denied coverage for a stem cell transplant due to pre-existing medical conditions. “What I couldn’t get done in three months, my case manager completed in three days and got me approved for transplant. Throughout the process, I was impressed with my case manager’s professionalism and knowledge. I felt like she really cared about me as a person; like a close family member.”
PAF case managers assist patients with applying, expediting and appealing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Long Term Disability (LTD) and/or Short Term Disability (STD). They negotiate funding and/or insurance coverage to access medical devices, surgical procedures and medications. They arbitrate with facilities obtaining medical discounts and/or write-offs for services. PAF also assist in the procurement of free or reduced medication or nutrition as well as housing, utilities, and free or reduced transportation and lodging for patients who must travel for treatment. Case managers also address COBRA, Medicaid, Medicare, and HIPAA plan issues related to diagnoses.
Headquartered in Hampton, VA, Patient Advocate Foundation has more than 230 employees today, with offices located in Florida, Iowa, Texas, California, North Carolina and New York. As the United States moves forward with health reform implementation, case complexity is on the rise with more than 23 percent of patients reporting two or more health conditions at a time. More consumers are requesting assistance from PAF about medical debt crisis and health care benefits, which accounts for the recent surge in patient calls and the recent hiring of 30 new case managers. Since 1998, PAF has seen a 132% increase in the number of resolved patient cases.
Tracey Rock, registered nurse and resident of the Outer Banks, is located at the Baum Center, 300 South Mustian Street, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948. North Carolina residents can contact case manager, Tracey Rock at 1-800-532-5274. Tracey recently worked for the Dare County hospice and prior to that, the Outer Banks hospital.
PAF also opened a new office in January 2010 in San Antonio, TX and expanded its partnership with the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Austin, TX adding a full time PAF case manager to that office.
PAF handled more than 82,000 cases nationally in 2010.