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Patient Advocate Foundation Announces Significant Operational, Technology Enhancements to Co-Pay Relief (CPR) Program
Date:7/11/2011

HAMPTON, Va., July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), 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 relative to their diagnosis of life-threatening or debilitating diseases, is pleased to announce improvements to its Co-Pay Relief (CPR) Program beginning on August 1, 2011 that will allow more patients to be served through a new operational model and will provide enhanced service to both providers and patients through new technology tools.

PAF's Co-Pay Relief Program provides direct financial support for pharmaceutical co-payments to insured patients, including Medicare Part D beneficiaries, who financially and medically qualify and are being treated for breast, lung, prostate, kidney, colon, non squamous non small cell lung and non muscle invasive bladder  cancers, malignant brain tumor, cutaneous t-cell lymphoma sarcoma,  multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome (and other pre-leukemia diseases), osteoporosis, pain, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, selected autoimmune disorders, CIA/CIN and patients undergoing hormone suppression therapy. Since the program's inception in April 2004, CPR distributed more than $120 million in assistance to more than 46,000 patients who were unable to afford their pharmaceutical co-payments.

CPR donations will now be released in total into each disease silo immediately upon receipt, rather than dividing contributions across a twelve month period. CPR will accept all qualified new and renewal applications on a first come, first serve basis with no limit imposed on the number of approvals issued monthly. CPR will also accept and process all expenditures on a first come, first serve basis until the available funds in the entire silo are exhausted. Eligible expenditures may be submitted by patients, providers and/or pharmacists. These changes will allow for many more patient approvals.

CPR will also leverage state-of-the-art technology solutions to deliver a high degree of automation and efficiency to program users. Electronic signature and file upload capabilities will be integrated into both the online application and the expenditure submission processes, including the capability for a user to fax documents which use a barcode-based routing system. These technological enhancements will allow the patient, provider and pharmacy communities to leverage existing Health Electronic Records (HER) or their Health Information Technology (HIT) to increase the speed with which their expenditures and applications are processed. CPR will still have secure web-based portal access 24 hours a day, online assistance capabilities and live assistance via the toll-free phone number.

"We know first-hand that managing a life-threatening or debilitating disease is difficult, so we are pleased that the improvements we have made to the CPR Program will enable PAF to serve more patients with high-cost pharmaceutical co-pay expenses," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Founder and CEO of PAF. "Not only will these improvements benefit patients, but they will also benefit the provider and pharmacy communities, particularly in advance of 2013 when the expectation is for electronic-prescribing to be mandatory."

In 2010, Co-Pay Relief Program assisted 13,848 patients, a 49.59 percent increase from 2009, and allocated approximately $31.2 million to patients to help alleviate the financial burden of out-of-pocket pharmaceutical co-payments.  Nearly half of CPR patients were over the age of 65, a 10.09 percent increase from 2009, which indicates that seniors are facing financial obstacles due to both medical and cost-of-living debt crises. Additionally, 16 percent of CPR patients are age 46 to 55 years and six percent are 36 to 45 years of age.

Patient Advocate Foundation and its companion organization, the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), were founded on the principle that health care is a basic human need and shared social responsibility.  Annually, PAF receives thousands of contacts requesting information and assistance via their toll-free hotline, as well as online, with complete direct, sustained case management services provided to patients from all fifty states free of charge.  For more information about PAF, visit www.patientadvocate.org or call toll free (800) 532-5274. For more information about PAF's Co-Pay Relief Program visit www.copays.org or call toll free (866) 512-3861.


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SOURCE Patient Advocate Foundation
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