Dear colleague,

Hearing daily news of the pandemic’s impact on our nation’s healthcare workers has been devastating. Whether you’re put directly in the path of the virus or finding creative ways to serve patients from home, we are deeply grateful for your courage and dedication.

You and your patients are our top priority. That means we’ll do everything we can to help you ensure they have uninterrupted access to their medications. The last thing we want is for someone to delay treatment because of cost, especially as COVID-19 continues to disrupt daily life.

In April, we launched a special fund to help people on Medicare diagnosed with coronavirus, or directed to self-quarantine, with the cost of medication and other important expenses. We were able to provide 1,500 patients with grants before funding was exhausted. As we actively seek donations to support additional patients, we’re tracking how the grants are being used. Read on to see what we’ve identified as the greatest area of need during this crisis.

While there’s no bright side to the situation we’re in, I’m challenging myself to find a silver lining. This crisis has given all of us at PAN a new perspective, and we’re more focused than ever on connecting your patients to financial assistance as often and as quickly as possible.

Let us know what resources would be valuable for you or your patients. What new disease funds should we consider? Are there any case management services your patients would benefit from? What would make life easier for your team? Reply to this email to send me your suggestions. I’d love to hear from you.

Again, thank you for everything you’re doing to keep our communities safe and healthy.       

Kind regards,
Ayesha Azam
Vice President of Medical Affairs
Poll: Chose our next webinar topic
Our last webinar drew over 200 participants, and we’re eager to host future virtual events!
What should our next webinar cover?
How to apply for assistance
How to submit and troubleshoot claims
General information about PAN
Features of the portal
A note from Joan
In these times, we recognize that patient assistance is more important than ever. The entire PAN team has been working remotely to assist pharmacies in securing financial help for their patients.

One of the most recent improvements we’ve made is our revamped website .

Have you utilized our enhanced search feature? You can now look up specific diagnosis codes or disease subtypes on our Find a Disease Fund page. We hope this will speed up your search and allow you to assist more patients.

As usual, the PAN website still allows you to: 

  • Search for a drug in the search bar to see which disease funds offer coverage.

  • Contact us if you patient’s medication or diagnosis code is not covered. Simply send us a message to submit the drug or ICD-10 code request for further review. 

We value and support the indispensable (pun not intended!) relationship between you and your patients. If there is anything we can do to better assist your team, don't hesitate to email me directly at jzhang@panfoundation.org .

Best regards,

Joan Zhang, PharmD
Manager of Medical Affairs
Add your patients to our new wait list
You may still be wondering exactly how our new Disease Fund Wait List works. Now each PAN fund that is closed has a wait list. Patients may add themselves to the wait list or be added by a member of their care team.

There is no limit to the number of people who can be on the wait list at any given time. Each patient on the wait list will be assigned a number corresponding to the order in which they were added to the list. When we secure funding for a closed fund, it will open in wait-list status and an email will be sent inviting those on the wait list to apply.

We encourage you to sign your patients up for the wait list if the fund they need assistance from is currently closed. This will offer them the best opportunity to receive a grant when the fund opens in wait-list status.

Check out this guide for answers to frequently asked questions.
Portal Pros: Signing up for the wait list 
There are a few different ways to sign your patients up for the wait list, but the easiest is using the Disease Funds and Medications tab within your portal account.

Once you’ve located the disease or medication for which your patient needs assistance, click Add Patient to Wait List and simply follow the screen prompts to complete the process.

If you’d like to know more about the various ways to sign your patients up, please reference these step-by-step instructions.
Claims Corner: Notify us about payment delays 
If you are experiencing insurance payment delays that impact timely claim submission at PAN, due to COVID-19 or other extenuating circumstances, please send us a secure message in the pharmacy portal or call us at  866-316-7263 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

For additional information on filing claims at PAN, please check out our pharmacy billing guide.
New medications covered
We've added several medications to our assistance programs in the last few months. Review the full list of new covered medications.
PAN reports on the need for travel assistance 
We know that access to reliable transportation makes it easier for patients to start and stay on treatment, and we’re concerned about those who struggle to secure rides to their doctor’s office or pharmacy.

In 2019, we surveyed 4,460 patients to better understand the transportation barriers they face and what resources can improve their ability to seek care from their physicians or pick up medications from their pharmacies. Among other findings, we learned:
Limited access to transportation prevents seniors from getting the care they need. Of those who responded to our survey:
We’ll continue to highlight data from the survey in the next several editions of this newsletter. If you share our concern about these barriers, check out our full transportation assistance survey report for an in-depth look at the findings.
Initial data: COVID-19 fund spending
We feel fortunate to have helped 1,500 patients with costs related to COVID-19 treatment and prevention. Grants have been used for purchases in the following categories: food, transportation, office visit or telehealth co-pays, medication co-pays, and medical equipment and supplies.

Food insecurity represents the largest area of need, currently accounting for nearly 81% of spending among our COVID-19 Treatment and Prevention fund grant recipients. Transportation, medication co-pays, and office or telehealth co-pays were also top spending categories, accounting for a combined total of nearly 15% of grant utilization.

Our fundraising team is hard at work to secure support for this fund, and we hope to open it again soon. In the meantime, if you have patients in need of extra help, please refer to our COVID-19 Financial Resource Directory where we list programs from trusted organizations offering relief during the pandemic.
We want to spotlight healthcare heroes 
All of us at PAN are inspired by your efforts during the pandemic and we want to know more about how you’ve managed to keep going.

If you feel comfortable sharing, we’d like to hear about your experiences during COVID-19.

How has your work been impacted? What are your patients’ biggest needs? Do you have any words of encouragement for others?

Send a note to comms@panfoundation.org to tell us as much as you’d like. We’d be honored to know more and share your story with our community.
One the line with Ryan: Meet PAN’s program representatives
Meet Ryan, one of our program representatives who understands the financial hardships that may come with a diagnosis and is on the line, ready to offer caring and compassionate service.

In this interview, Ryan shares a little about herself and the heartwarming moments she experiences on the job.

What's your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is following up with members regularly to verify and update their insurance information. I enjoy checking in with them. It warms my heart to hear their joy when I assure them that we are here for them every step of the way. 
What's been your most memorable phone conversation?
The most memorable conversation I’ve had was with the mother of an adolescent living with hemophilia. Her son was an active child and constantly injured himself while playing at school. She explained to me that any cut her son got could put his life at risk. She also explained that his condition caused frequent trips to the doctor and required expensive medication. In the end, she expressed her gratitude for PAN’s assistance and said that knowing her son can get the care he needs is a huge relief for their family. 
Tell us something that others would be surprised to know about you. 
I have a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition. 
Just because: feel-good articles
We all could use an excuse to smile. Check out these articles if you need to raise your spirits:

The New York Times: Signs of hope
PAN at virtual events
We miss seeing you in-person at conferences! However, we’re still active in the patient assistance community. In the last few weeks, we’ve participated in several virtual events to share information about patient assistance.

Check out the following events, and perhaps share with members of your team who may find them useful:

Vice President of Medical Affairs Ayesha Azam shares our response to new patient needs due to COVID-19 and how we’re increasing support at this time.

President and CEO Dan Klein joins a panel of patient advocacy experts to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care and patient assistance.

Vice President of Medical Affairs Ayesha Azam and Dan Sherman from the NaVectis Group share programs available to assist cancer patients with medical and non-medical expenses.