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American Cancer Society, Patient Advocate Foundation Announce Free, Personalized Assistance for Cancer Patients
Date:5/29/2008

Joint Effort to Expand Health Care Access by Breaking Through Barriers

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Cancer Society and Patient Advocate Foundation today announced a strategic collaboration that will give millions of cancer patients and their families quick access to timely information and specialized patient assistance resources. This collaboration will help to improve the lives of cancer patients nationwide who are facing access to health care issues.

With support from the American Cancer Society, Patient Advocate Foundation will extend its ability to provide case management services, providing desperately needed assistance to cancer patients who have lost, or are in danger of losing a job or health care coverage, or who face other challenges that impact their access to care.

"A cancer diagnosis can be the most overwhelming experience a person may ever face in his or her lifetime. Coupled with financial instability, the journey can become significantly more challenging to manage," said Terry Music, interim chief mission officer, American Cancer Society. "Supporting Patient Advocate Foundation's programs and services allows us to connect patients to case management resources that can help to vastly improve the patient's quality of life by increasing access to healthcare, continuation of employment, and preservation of financial stability."

Through the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center, clear, reliable cancer information is available to help patients understand their disease and make informed decisions about their health. Trained cancer information specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-ACS-2345 to answer questions about cancer, link callers with resources in their communities, and provide information on local events. For patients in need of services provided by Patient Advocate Foundation, a seamless referral process will be established to quickly connect the patient with a case manager. Further, both organizations provide a wealth of helpful information and consumer-friendly tools on their Web sites, which can be accessed at http://www.cancer.org and http://www.patientadvocate.org.

Patient Advocate Foundation offers assistance to patients facing barriers to accessing healthcare, which can include specific issues with an insurer, employer and/or creditor regarding insurance, job retention and/or debt crisis matters relative to having been diagnosed with a chronic, life-threatening or debilitating disease. Professional case managers and attorneys, who specialize in mediation, negotiation, and education, advocate on behalf of patients. These specially trained case managers work directly with patients and families to help overcome barriers to care. All services are confidential and free to the patient.

"Patient Advocate Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life of patients and their caregivers through our services, and is proud to be working with the American Cancer Society to ensure that cancer patients are able to obtain the medical care they need and deserve. There are entirely too many patients and family members struggling with rejected claims, denials based on pre-existing conditions and additional insurance coverage challenges that can lead to life-or-death delays in treatment," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, chief executive officer of PAF. "Together, the American Cancer Society and Patient Advocate Foundation are committed to providing the help that cancer patients need and fighting on their behalf to help eliminate these barriers."

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit http://www.cancer.org.

About the Patient Advocate Foundation

Patient Advocate Foundation, established in 1996 with National headquarters in Newport News, VA, and offices in California, New York, Iowa, Florida and North Carolina, is 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. Annually, PAF provides professional case management services to more than 44,000 patients with additional support to 6.8 million requests for information for professional services.


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SOURCE Patient Advocate Foundation
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