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Patient Advocate Foundation Launches Program to Help Uninsured Virginians with Chronic, Debilitating and Life-Threatening Illness Access Quality Healthcare
Date:9/5/2007

'Virginia Cares Uninsured Program' Could Help Thousands of the More Than 1 Million Virginia Residents Currently Without Health Insurance

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) -- a national non-profit organization that provides patient services to thousands of patients every year who are unable to obtain access to care because of financial or insurance denials -- today announced a new patient services program, Virginia Cares Uninsured Program (VCUP). This state-wide program is designed to assist uninsured Virginia residents who have been diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illness and are experiencing difficulties accessing the appropriate healthcare. PAF's trained healthcare professionals are available to provide case management services, developing safety nets of healthcare services to meet pharmaceutical, surgical, radiation, physician, and social service needs of the uninsured.

"The Patient Advocate Foundation was founded on the principle that quality healthcare is a basic human need and a shared social responsibility," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, President and CEO of PAF. "All Virginians should have access to a full continuum of healthcare services, particularly when diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Within the construct of the Virginia Cares Uninsured Program, Patient Advocate Foundation case managers will evaluate the individual needs of uninsured patients, striving to facilitate access to timely and appropriate care. In some cases this includes making application to state or federal programs while in others, it requires detailed investigation into local, regional and/or disease specific resources and individual health care providers who accept and care for indigent patients regardless of their ability to pay. We are so pleased that the Commonwealth has partnered with a program that will help many of its citizens access the full spectrum of care with which Patient Advocate Foundation can assist."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of the Census, approximately 45 million Americans do not have any form of health insurance. The 2005 Census estimates that in Virginia alone, there are currently 952,000 uninsured adults and 156,000 uninsured children, which translates to approximately 12.8% of the state's population.

Virginia Cares Uninsured Program will offer a variety of services to the state's uninsured population including:

-- Seeking to negotiate funding and/or insurance coverage for medical

devices, surgical procedures, medications, medical discounts or write-

offs for services, and clinical trials;

-- Seeking to negotiate free or reduced medication, nutrition, housing,

utilities and free or reduced transportation and lodging for patients

who must travel for treatment;

-- Assisting patients with obtaining insurance with COBRA, Medicaid,

Medicare, Guarantee Issues Plans, HIPAA plans and FAMIS/FAMIS Select;

-- Assisting patients with applying, expediting decisions and appealing

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security

Income (SSI), Long Term Disability (LTD) and/or Short Term Disability

To be eligible for this program, a patient must be a legal resident of the United States currently residing in Virginia with a diagnosis of chronic, life-threatening or debilitating disease and must be uninsured.

In 2006, PAF received 336,105 total requests for information and/or assistance from Virginians, 43,201 of which were uninsured. This resulted in 2,080 cases in which PAF case managers provided guidance and intervention to patients assuring access to healthcare, maintenance of employment, and preservation of their financial stability. Additional PAF programs include the Co-Pay Relief Program, National African American Outreach Program, Colorectal CareLine, LIVESTRONG(TM) Survivorcare Partnership, National Hispanic Latino Outreach Program.

Additional information on Patient Advocate Foundation's Virginia Cares Uninsured Program can be found at http://www.pafcares.org or 1-800-532-5274.

Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization that seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability.

For more general information on Patient Advocate Foundation, go to http://www.patientadvocate.org.


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SOURCE Patient Advocate Foundation
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