GERMANTOWN, Md., Aug.15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has launched a new Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) fund to provide copayment and premium assistance to eligible AML patients on Medicare. HealthWell will provide up to $10,000 in financial assistance to individuals who have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level. Grants through the fund will assist AML patients in covering out-of-pocket costs for treatment.
AML starts in the bone marrow (the soft inner part of certain bones, where new blood cells are made), but in most cases it quickly moves into the blood. Most cases of AML develop from cells that would turn into white blood cells (other than lymphocytes), but some cases of AML develop in other types of blood-forming cells. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), AML can sometimes spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and testicles. If untreated, the disease can progress quickly and could be fatal within months. AML is generally a disease of older people and is uncommon before the age of 45. The average age of a patient with AML is about 67 years, with over 21,000 new cases projected to be diagnosed in 2017 with a 50 percent mortality rate.
"Oncology care providers are increasingly recognizing the issue of financial toxicity as a devastating side effect of cancer," said Mark Soberman, MD, MBA, FACS, president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC). "The HealthWell Foundation's new AML Fund is a much needed resource, and will be an important addition to the tools ACCC offers through its Financial Advocacy Network to lessen the economic burden of cancer for patients and their families."
"As we continue to expand our oncology services, we are honored to be able to offer AML patients a financial lifeline to assist them with their treatment cost shares," said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. "We are thankful for our generous donors who recognize an unmet need for AML patients who are on Medicare. People living with AML have many challenges to deal with, finding a way to cover the cost of their treatment should not be one of them."
About the HealthWell Foundation A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 250,000 underinsured patients in more than 50 disease areas by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.
About the Association of Community Cancer Centers The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) promotes the entire continuum of quality cancer care for our patients and our communities. Since 1974, ACCC has been helping oncology professionals adapt to the complex changes of delivering quality cancer care. ACCC members rely on the Association to bring them information on cancer program management, reimbursement issues, legislative and regulatory changes at the state and national levels, community cancer program standards, NCI-funded community clinical research, hospital alliances and physician relationships, and more. More than 23,000 cancer care professionals from over 2,000 hospitals and practices nationwide are affiliated with ACCC. It is estimated that 65 percent of the nation's cancer patients are treated by a member of ACCC. To learn more about the ACCC, visit: www.accc-cancer.org.