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How are your patients recently faced with unemployment going to be able to afford their medications? Before our country was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, we had a prescription epidemic.  It is estimated that 1 in 4 Americans are impacted by cost-related medication non-adherence (CRMN). Many times, faced with the difficult decision of paying their rent, groceries, utilities or prescriptions. Over the past several days our unemployment rates have increased at a massive rate and will to continue to grow. Those currently facing unemployment may have been insured by an employer’s plan or paid for individual coverage that provided financial relief for their prescription costs. Considering the average American has less than a $1,000 in savings, many of those faced with unemployment will not be able to afford their individual premiums or cost of COBRA insurance to continue their insurance coverage. Causing them to pay retail price for their prescribed medicines.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic there were over 30 million uninsured. It does not take an actuary to understand increases in uninsured and underinsured are going to follow suit with unemployment rates. It will be a domino effect. As we know, when patients are unable to afford their medicine, they will resort to cost-related medication nonadherence (CRMN) reducing or skipping dosages, sharing prescriptions or not filling them all together. It is estimated that 68% of readmissions are avoidable adverse events related to medication nonadherence and can be prevented. 1 in 3 diabetic patients before the impact of Coronavirus Pandemic were unable to afford food, medication or both, and CRMN is most common with individuals with food insecurities. In turn, these patients will end up in our emergency rooms and readmitted requiring much of the attention and equipment that is already in fear of shortage due to impact of the pandemic. Although there are many uncertainties of the virus, there is one commonly known fact – the ones most impacted are those with poor outcomes (diabetes, COPD, CHF, etc.). Coincidentally, medications related to these types of chronic illness are some of the most expensive on the market leaving patients feeling helpless and not knowing where to turn or what to do. Not to mention the impact of the states with Stay-At-Home orders, patients not wanting to go into public facilities and pick up their prescriptions.

What plan has your organization created to ensure your patients facing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic get access to the medications they need but cannot afford? Before the pandemic healthcare organizations were faced with patients that were frequent flyer to their emergency rooms and inpatient stays due to medication non-adherence. Unfortunately, the situation will only worse as unemployment and uninsured rates continue to rise.

The good news is there are great programs available to assist these patients with their prescription costs. Many of these programs are free and will ship medication directly from the manufacturer to the patient’s home. Allowing the patient to have a continued supply without exposing themselves to the virus. However, the programs’ application process and requirements can be overwhelming and time-consuming for patients to independently complete and we our clinical teams have less time now than before to assist.

As healthcare providers it is vital, we are proactive in assisting these patients by creating a plan to assist these patients in their time of need.

Quick steps that will allow your organization to assist these patients:

  • Create a medication assistance program (including, but not limited to patient assistance programs, copayment assistance cards, and most cost-effective place to purchase medications)
  • Identify patients that are at a higher risk by utilizing EHR data (medication, medication cost (average retail value), payor class, employment position type, condition or diagnosis, and charity care (financial assistance) status
  • Design a multi-faucet pronged patient outreach system (phone, text, email, mailings)
  • Assist patients with the process in its entirety until the application is successfully processed by the manufacturer
  • Track results and follow-up with the patients to ensure if there are additional steps, they are completed to allow the patient to not have disruptions in their medication assistance.

Like revenue cycle payors, pharmaceutical programs commonly have unique applications, requirements and processes. Their processing timeframes can vary from a few business days to 30 plus days, but if successfully completed, the efforts are worth its weight I gold. Many of the programs ship three months of medication directly to the patients home free of charge, allowing the patient to save thousands of dollars per year or even month!

If you are interested in learning more about how NPC can assist your patients and organization with the medication assistance process, please contact us today:

Chastity Werner

CEO

(314)920-7938

cwerner@npc-meds.com

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Prescription help is here!!

 

Thank you for taking the time to review Nationwide Prescription Connection and what our program can do for you.

Nationwide Prescription Connection is committed to assisting patients with receiving free or reduced cost medications. We simplify the process and make it easy for you to apply.

If you:

  • Are finding it difficult to afford the rising cost of prescription medications.
  • Are under-insured or uninsured.
  • Are taking medications currently not covered on your insurance.
  • Have Medicare Part D and are now in what is known as the “Gap” or “Donut Hole”.
  • Are s citizen or legal resident of the U.S. and its subsidies.

 If the answer to any of these is “Yes”, then we can help.

Let us be a resource for you to use in receiving your medications!

You can apply with us one of 3 ways. You can either apply online, through the mail or over the phone using our simple application process.

Comments 0 Rating: Rated 5 star by 2 people.
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NPC was has been a life saver for me and my family. Thank you for all you have done for me.

Randy