Category: NeedyMeds

Pack Health: A New Resource for Personalized Support

Needymeds exists to help you get healthcare costs under control. We know you need additional resources to make sense of healthcare —  that’s the whole point of the NeedyMeds Voice.

But what we don’t always talk about is the importance of finding your own voice. Do you ever find yourself with lingering questions? Do you ever have trouble holding yourself accountable? Do you ever fail to speak up?

We recently discovered a resource that supports individuals on a one-on-one basis, where a health coach comes right alongside you to keep you motivated and get your questions answered in your day-to-day life. It’s called Pack Health, and it’s a digital coaching service. This means they can reach you wherever you are and on your schedule – on the phone, online, or both.

These people get what you’re going through, and they’ll help you with everything from exercise and nutrition to budgeting and logistics. You set the goal, they’ll help you get there. It’s that simple.

We reached out, and they’ve opened up a special opportunity for our community. We were able to reserve 100 free spots for members

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Free, Low-Cost, & Sliding Scale Clinics

One of the most popular sections of the NeedyMeds website is our listing of Free, Low-Cost, and Sliding-Scale clinics. As health care has become more and more expensive, the need for low-cost health care has increased. Many people living in more rural parts of the country have a very limited number of options to see a doctor, and depending on their insurance status the number of available “in-network” doctors is even lower. Many people do not regularly see their doctor, only seeking help when a more serious condition arises. It can be a scary situation to be uninsured and have an unforeseen medical problem come up.

We list three different types of clinics on NeedyMeds.org. The first are free clinics, which provide services at no cost to the patient. The second are low-cost clinics that usually have a low flat-fee for all patients or types of visit. The third are sliding-scale clinics; the price for these clinics is based on the patient’s ability to pay, and is usually derived from their income and family size as it relates to the federal poverty level.

Each clinic offers a different variety of services. Many clinics

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Introducing HealthWeb Navigator

This blog originally appeared on HealthWeb Navigator, a new site by NeedyMeds.  It has reviews of health-related websites to help you find the best, most medically reliable information. You can see the beta version of HealthWeb Navigator at www.healthwebnav.org.

 

What is HealthWeb Navigator and How Does It Work?

HealthWeb Navigator (HWN) directs you to health care websites that provide up-to-date and clear information. HWN resembles a guidebook that recommends the best places to visit on the Web.

Our staff constantly searches the Internet to find health care websites that appear useful to consumers. Our external review panel then evaluates any promising websites. These unpaid volunteers have backgrounds in health care, business, education, consumerism and patient advocacy.

Each website is scored by several reviewers on content, readability, usability and design. Based on this evaluation, the website is assigned a final rating of one to five stars.

Websites listed in HWN are constantly evaluated for content and maintenance of quality.

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Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)

NeedyMeds was started in 1997 when a family physician and a medical social worker realized there were dozens of pharmaceutical patient assistance programs available, providing medications to those in need at low- or no cost, but no centralized resource for the information.  We became that resource, using the relatively new Internet as the perfect medium for the constantly changing information.  Despite growing significantly since our inception, we still have an expanding database of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) to help those unable to cover the costs of prescriptions.

Patient assistance programs are typically run by pharmaceutical companies to help uninsured and underinsured patients get their medication for free or low-cost. There are no regulations or laws dictating that pharmaceutical companies must provide PAPs, so the eligibility requirements often vary from program to program. Most require personal information (full name, address, date of birth, social security number), information from your doctor, and a valid prescription.  Some PAPs require information on insurance status or household income.  When using NeedyMeds,

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Insurers Drop Expensive Medications

It is no secret that drug prices continue to be a problem in the United States. In a previous blog post, we discussed the environment in which skyrocketing drug prices are allowed to take off.  It has continued to be an important subject to Americans and the ongoing presidential campaigns.  The growing issue of medications costs is punctuated with head-spinning facts such as drugs that are $1,000 per pill in the US costing as little as $4 in India, or the life-expectancy is higher in Costa Rica than the United States despite higher income and amount spent on healthcare by Americans.  Some insurance companies are beginning to fight back against pharmaceutical companies pricing by dropping expensive drugs from their covered medications.

The strategy to drop expensive drugs from their formularies was established two years ago by Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the US, when they announced they would no longer pay for 48 brand-name medications.  This was a result of many medicines raising over 20% in price over the previous year, so Express Scripts stopped paying for them in 2014 and moved their patients

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.