Pharmaceutical Access Program manager @ Muskegon Community Health Project, Muskegon, Michigan
Condition: Doctors are generally too busy to instruct underinsured patients how to access programs that pay for prescription meds.
Cure: Community health organizations navigate those hurdles for the hospitals, via partnership.
"When we first became part of Mercy Health Partners hospital, the aid programs were a mess. One campus did financial stuff this way, another did it that way, and there were a lot of patients filling out duplicate forms to apply for assistance. That's especially tough on a population that often has very low literacy levels and is just generally terrified of medical debt. Because we're not physicians who work at a million miles a minute and have gobs of paperwork to do, we have the time and resources to help them understand aid programs--from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novo Nordisk, and more--and fill out the forms to send to their doctors, who just have to review and sign. We're actually on track to help patients access more than $10 million in medication by the end of this year."