Patient Advocate Foundation sees a 24.3% increase in patient volume from 2010
HAMPTON, Va., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), a national non-profit organization that helps patients with one-on-one case management services by addressing access issues, insurance obstacles, medical debt crisis and job retention issues today released their annual Patient Data Analysis Report (PDAR), a statistical analysis of the 103,112 patients assisted by PAF in 2011. PAF 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, and through their PDAR provides a complex assessment on national and state-by-state healthcare issues affecting patients from all 50 states.
The 2011 PDAR provides a detailed overview of the difficulties that many patients encounter when accessing healthcare in America, and thus supplies invaluable information to policymakers, stakeholders and healthcare providers on emerging trends and issues crucial to national conversations on ways to improve the healthcare system. PAF's extensive documentation of its case management data through the PDAR makes it one of the nation's preeminent sources of information on how patients (insured, underinsured and uninsured) interact with the healthcare system.
In 2011, PAF served 103,112 patients, representing a 24.3 percent increase in patient cases compared to the 2010 calendar year, and a staggering 86.2 percent increase in annual cases resolved since 2009. Of the patients served by PAF case managers, 69 percent of patients who contacted PAF were cancer patients, with the remaining patients dealing with a wide array of chronic or debilitating conditions including cardiovascular, autoimmune, nervous system, and pediatric illness among others.
PAF assisted patients in all 50 states and several territories; however 10.1 percent of all patient calls were from the state of Texas, taking the lead as PAF's top referral state. 2011 is the first time since 2004 that Florida has not had the highest number of patient referrals, with Florida now placed in the number two position, followed by California, Virginia and New York.
The 2011 data analysis shows numerous shifting trends of note in regards to patient demographics and health conditions.
- For the first time since 2007, Medicare beneficiaries surpassed the uninsured population as the second most frequently reported insurance coverage type. For 2011, uninsured patients represented the third most prevalent insurance status type.
- Among commercially insured patients, 26.3 percent of patients were unemployed, frequently as a result of their debilitating medical condition, and 16.9 percent were utilizing their COBRA benefits. Nearly 65 percent of these patients reported earning less than $34,000 annually.
- Nearly a quarter of patients served reported two or more health conditions, representing an increase over previous years.
- 11% of uninsured patients reported not being able to access screening for symptoms through a medical provider, while between one and two percent of patients with insurance coverage reported the same issue. In 2011, more uninsured patients reported significant difficulty in getting services, which represents a dramatic shift from 2010 data where the majority of uninsured patients reported difficulty paying for healthcare services that were provided.
- Case managers saw an increasing population of PAF patients receiving disability benefits in 2011.
- PAF saw greater patient diversity in 2011 in terms of age, ethnicity, insurance status, employment status, household income and diagnosis and health conditions reported.
The cost of treatment and the financial burden placed on patients (and their families) facing treatment is one of the most common concerns reported to PAF, with 31.4 percent of cases citing this scenario. Issues surrounding debt crisis often overlap and encompass many other areas. Those reported issues may include: increasing insurance premiums with less coverage, the inability to afford increased co-insurance or co-payment obligations, the inability to afford COBRA premiums and the loss of employer-sponsored benefits.
2011 saw the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impacting more patients, with a significant number of PAF patients in need of assistance navigating the insurance availability landscape. 81 percent of patients requesting assistance related to the ACA asked for guidance with eligibility or enrollment in a Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIP).
"PAF through our PDAR, is pleased to provide comparable information on patient demographics, health conditions, insurance groups, including the uninsured, as well as the case manager-assisted resolutions for patients who have been confronted with these complex medical issues, " said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Founder and CEO of National Patient Advocate Foundation and Patient Advocate Foundation. "As our nation's healthcare system continues to evolve, there is no doubt that PAF will continue to take on a diverse caseload to assist patients with changing times."
In addition to providing analysis of national healthcare trends, the PDAR highlights PAF's 15-year history in resolving complex health insurance access issues, such as benefit denials and appeals. Originally published in 1997, this data has been increasingly requested by lawmakers, MedPAC, congressional offices, academics and advocacy organizations as a quality assessment across many different dimensions, including age, ethnicity, employment status and clinical conditions.
Patient Advocate Foundation 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. Additionally, PAF receives and provides information through online contacts to patients, family members and care professionals requesting access to care information and assistance. PAF services are available to all patients, patient families, and medical professionals, offering nineteen programs and services ranging from case management to co-pay relief, as well as specialized clinical support through the MedCare Line. Patient Advocate Foundation serves patients from all 50 states, and has physical locations at many of the top patient referral states including Texas, Florida, California, New York and Virginia.
SOURCE Patient Advocate Foundation