In the past year, I’ve had several close family members diagnosed with cancer. In addition to a difficult diagnosis, some of my family have needed to cope with the disaster that healthcare insurance has become. In my quest to help, I was directed to Break Away from Cancer, which led me to the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF).
PAF is a non-profit organization that is independent of healthcare providers. The mission of the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is to provide effective mediation and arbitration services to patients to remove obstacles to healthcare including medical debt crisis, insurance access issues and employment issues for patients with chronic, debilitating and life-threatening illnesses. I contacted them on behalf of one of my relatives and I was impressed by the scope of issues they were willing to help with.
After sending an initial inquiry email, they called me back. They interviewed me over the phone to get a sense of what was needed. They were prepared to help with house payments, getting access to food and tackle payments associated with medical bills. They then assigned a case number and case manager. The case manager contacted me within 48 hours. I have since passed this information along to my family member.
With the growing number of people in the U.S. diagnosed with life-threatening diseases and the increased cost of healthcare, it is reassuring to know that such wonderful non-profit organizations exist. People diagnosed with chronic, debilitating and life-threatening illnesses need to focus on getting better instead of how to pay the bills and feed their family.