PHOENIX, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthtera, a supplemental health benefits company that offers 24/7 telemedicine solutions powered by HealthiestYou (HY), announced the roll-out of its Living Donor Family Sharing Program to support the courageous individuals who have sacrificed a piece of themselves to save someone's life. In response to a nationwide effort to expand post-donation medical support access for living donors, this unprecedented program enables live-organ transplant recipients enrolled in Healthtera's family telemedicine plan to offer their living donors an extra layer of medical protection by adding them onto their family telemedicine plans at no additional charge.
"I consider Healthtera's Living Donor Family Sharing Program revolutionary. Not only is it setting a precedent for raising the bar in living donor protections; it's providing live-organ transplant recipients with a new way to honor and protect those directly responsible for giving them a second chance to live a longer and healthier life," said Risa Simon, Founder/CEO of TransplantFirst Academy (TFA). As a live-donor kidney transplant recipient, Simon understands the unique challenges faced by critically ill kidney patients.
Healthtera's new program provides living donors with that extra layer of protection and benefits enjoyed by members of its family telemedicine plan including:
- 24/7 access to U.S. Board-certified physicians
- Consultations by phone, online or via the HY app
- Unlimited M.D. consultations with no co-pays, deductibles or approvals required
- Secure HIPAA-compliant member portal where doctors can review medical history
- Prescriptions and refills conveniently sent by doctors via e-script to member's pharmacy
"It gives me great comfort knowing I can talk to a doctor 24/7," said Melissa Blevins Bein, who donated a kidney several years ago. "This program is a great way to manage first signs of a bladder or sinus infection, cold or flu without waiting days for an appointment."
"Without living donors, kidney transplant hopefuls would be hard-pressed to live a long, healthy life," said Simon who devotes her time to empowering patients by raising awareness about living kidney donation (LKD). In addition to underscoring the positive outcomes of LKD, her organization is also addressing barriers that deter people from considering live-organ donation.
Of the132,000 people currently on the national transplant list, roughly 100,000 are awaiting kidneys and 3,000 more are added each month. Sadly, thousands die annually because organ supply is limited. In a Presidential Proclamation this year, President Obama said, "A rising demand for organs exists without enough organs to meet it, making the urgency for those willing and able to donate even more critical and the need for innovation and support even more imperative."
TFA is united with American Society of Transplantation (AST), The National Kidney Foundation and other organizations calling on Congress to pass pending legislation that would protect living donors from financial hardships and extend benefits of the Family Medical Leave Act to ensure job security during surgical and recovery periods.
"If passed, the legislation will strengthen protection for living donors. But it could take some time before it becomes law," said Simon. She explained that transplant recipients' medical policies cover the living donors' evaluation and surgical costs but, beyond that, living donors must rely upon their own coverage. "I believe we have a moral responsibility to honor and protect them long after they donate an organ."
"Having predicated our business on finding affordable solutions to limitations in our current healthcare system, we have tools at our disposal to help," said Healthtera principal Star Simmons who explored allowable options before developing the new program. "Despite their heroic sacrifice, living donors expect nothing more than the altruistic satisfaction of saving someone's life. We hope that extending this extra layer of health protection to them will make a difference."
"I definitely applaud Healthtera's initiative," said Dr. Kenneth Newell, an organ transplant surgeon at Emory University School of Medicine. As the former president of the AST, Newell understands the importance of protecting the health of living organ donors. "This concept offers a much needed resource and illustrates an innovative approach that tangibly helps living organ donors."
For more information visit Healthtera.com.
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