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Patient Advocate Foundation Launches Transportation Grant for Multiple Myeloma Patients

HAMPTON, Va., April 4, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In 2015, Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) found that 15% of patients assisted by their case management department reported access to care issues due to transportation conflicts. With an average travel distance of 49 miles to care, patients with recurring treatment were often affected by the cost, reliability and time of travel. PAF data reports reveal when patients don't have reliable transportation, they are more likely to experience missed or delayed treatment, as well as issues accessing their prescribed medication.1

According to the American Cancer Society, 30,330 new cases of multiple myeloma will join the existing 77,000 cases, making the illness the second most common blood cancer in the United States. Multiple myeloma occurs when abnormal plasma cells accumulate in bone marrow, interfering with the production of normal blood cells that fight infection. The abnormal cells start a chain reaction that may cause tumors, damage kidneys and impair the immune system, meaning frequent trips to and from the doctor's office for many of those affected.

Today, Patient Advocate Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to guiding patients as they navigate roadblocks to care, opens the Multiple Myeloma Transportation Financial Aid Fund to help ensure patients and their caregivers can access the treatment they need when they need it.

"The launch of the transportation program will complement PAF's Multiple Myeloma Co-Pay Relief fund which helps patients pay for their prescribed medications. Although there is no cure for multiple myeloma, we know when patients get and stay on treatment, the likelihood for survival increases. Getting to a medical facility shouldn't be one of the roadblocks patients face. We're dedicated to doing what we can to ease those burdens," Alan Balch, PhD, CEO of Patient Advocate Foundation says.

The new program joins the ranks of PAF's current Financial Aid Funds offering targeted relief to designated patient populations. The program opens April 4, 2016 and will begin accepting applications immediately. Qualified patients with household income under the 250% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) will receive a one-time award of $300 to be used for transportation purposes to and from treatment as it relates to their diagnosis. Patients interested in applying for the Multiple Myeloma Transportation Financial Aid Fund may call (855) 824-7941, Monday-Thursday 8:30 am-5:00 pm ET and Friday 8:30 am-4:00 pm ET, to begin an application.

1 Patient Advocate Foundation, Patient Data Analysis Report, 2015 Edition.

About the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) Financial Aid Fund (FAF)-

Patient Advocate Foundation's Financial Aid Fund serves as an independent division of Patient Advocate Foundation, providing small grants to patients who meet the financial and medical criteria. Grants are provided on first-come first served basis and are distributed until funds are depleted. Qualifications and processes for each fund may differ based on fund requirements. Patients who are interested in applying for financial assistance should start by calling this division toll free at (855) 824-7941 or visiting www.patientadvocate.org/programs.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Erin Singleton, Chief of Mission Delivery, Patient Advocate Foundation, 757-952-0561

Source:Patient Advocate Foundation