Dr Alan Balch Shares How PAF Helps Shoulder the Burden of Their Disease

The Patient Advocate Program (PAF) serves patients with chronic, life threatening or debilitating diseases by providing direct financial support as well as case management support. Alan Balch, PhD, chief executive officer, PAF, explained that PAF guides their members through insurance systems when issues of access or affordability arise for the individual.

The Patient Advocate Program (PAF) serves patients with chronic, life threatening or debilitating diseases by providing direct financial support as well as case management support. Alan Balch, PhD, chief executive officer, PAF, explained that PAF guides their members through insurance systems when issues of access or affordability arise for the individual.

“We average on behalf of the patient about 20 contacts per case with or on behalf of the patient so it’s a very intense engagement with the patient,” Dr. Balch said. “We work directly with them in the process; we don’t give them a list of resources and say ‘Go help yourself.’ We actually get on the phone with the insurance company and try to advocate on their behalf to navigate through prioritization issues or coverage denial issues.”

Dr. Balch said that PAF concentrates a majority of their work on cancer patients, as there is an acute need for insurance access and financial support; however, PAF provides guidance and support to 300 different disease areas.