Transportation Financial Aid Fund Program Renewed to Address Patient Needs
Sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Patient Advocate Foundation is extending its Metastatic Melanoma and Metastatic Lung Cancer transportation program.
Hampton, VA – After being diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, J. Robinson’s doctor expressed the need for frequent trips back and forth to the hospital for chemotherapy treatment. After she vocalized the recurring trips would cause her hardship, her physician immediately referred her to Patient Advocate Foundation and its Financial Aid Fund division. She applied for the Metastatic Melanoma and Metastatic Lung Cancer Transportation Financial Aid Fund program and was approved for assistance.
“I am so grateful to the fund for helping me continue my treatment,” says Robinson. “I was really having a hard time with transportation as I live quite far from the hospital where I have treatment.”
Sponsored by a charitable donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), a national nonprofit committed to ensuring patients living with serious illness have a path to healthcare services and resources, has announced they will be continuing their Metastatic Melanoma and Metastatic Lung Cancer Transportation Financial Aid Fund program to meet growing patient needs.
“Transportation to treatment facilities continues to be one of the biggest roadblocks our patient’s face1,” Erin Singleton, Chief of Mission Delivery at PAF says. “This is incredibly problematic because when patients can’t physically get to the hospital they miss appointments, delay their care and occasionally will forgo their prescribed treatment all together2.”
In 2015, PAF’s case management division reported that approximately 15% of patients cited they experienced transportation-related barrier to care issues. Patients were affected in both urban and rural areas with difficulty to care increasing the further away the treating facility was from their home. Patients experiencing transportation concerns reported traveling nearly 30 miles further one way than those who did not have transportation issues3.
“Unfortunately, patient stories like Robinson’s are not isolated incidents. Bristol-Myers Squibb is sensitive to the total impact that cancer has on patients’ lives, and we are committed to doing all we can to help improve every aspect of care,” Teresa Bitetti, senior vice president, U.S. Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb says. “Our hope is that patients in need will be able to get and stay on their treatment through this program, positively impacting the cancer community and society overall.”
Patients approved for the one-time $300 grant must use the funds specifically for transportation purposes as they apply to the patient’s current treatment plan, including but not limited to: ambulance rides, airfare, train, public transportation, taxi or similar service, as well gas/oil. Patients may also use the funds for car insurance, auto loan and vehicle repair, as well as vehicle adaptations or modifications such as wheelchair accessibility.
“I never knew than an organization like this one existed. I am truly blessed,” Robinson tells PAF. “I hope and pray others will be helped by you as well.”
Launched in 2015, this program is part of PAF’s Financial Aid Fund division offering targeted relief to patients experiencing transportation-related barriers to care. Patients interested in applying for the Transportation Financial Aid Fund may call (855) 824-7941 for more information or visit www.patientadvocate.org/programs.
1, 2, 3. Patient Advocate Foundation, Patient Data Analysis Report, 2015 Edition.
About Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF): Established in 1996, Patient Advocate Foundation assists patients who have been diagnosed with serious illness overcome healthcare access barriers. PAF provides in-depth sustained assistance through personalized case management, financial support, and connection to critical community resources, all at no cost to the patient or their caregiver. For more information about Patient Advocate Foundation and its mission to improve health access to all patients, visit www.patientadvocate.org or call 1-800-532-5274.
About Bristol Myers Squibb: Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Media Contact: Erin Singleton, Chief of Mission Delivery, Patient Advocate Foundation, 757-952-0561