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."
A version of this article appeared in the April 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.