HealthWell Foundation Unveils Fund to Help Patients Living with MASH

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Among its benefits, the fund will provide up to $8,000 in medication copayment or insurance premium assistance.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Artsakon.com

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Artsakon.com

The HealthWell Foundation, an independent, non-profit charitable organization that provides financial assistance to underinsured Americans, is unveiling a new fund that offers financial assistance to those with metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH).

Specifically, alongside providing financial assistance for diagnostic testing, disease-related laboratory testing, doctor visits, and transportation costs for treatment and monitoring, the fund will deliver as much as $8,000 in medication copayment or insurance premium assistance to patients who eligible to receive the aforementioned assistance, which would represent yearly household incomes of up to 500% of the federal poverty level.

MASH is a severe type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that can result in a damaged and swollen liver. The main risk is progressive fibrosis (scarring), which in 5%-12% of patients living with the disease, can ultimately lead to cirrhosis of the liver. There is also an association between MASH and an elevate risk of both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors for MASH can include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High cholesterol
  • Becoming/being overweight
  • Metabolic syndrome

"As a liver disease patient, I understand firsthand the nuances and obstacles of living with MASH. Learning that you have an incurable disease is devastating, and compounding the news with countless tests, doctor's visits, and medications, is overwhelming for most patients,” said Wayne Eskridge, CEO, Fatty Liver Foundation. “Treatment and management of the disease requires multiple medications, diagnostic testing, and follow-up, leading to potentially overwhelming financial challenges. We applaud the HealthWell Foundation for recognizing this undue hardship for patients and for providing the financial resources to access and adhere to their treatment regimen."

This news also puts MASH further on the map, which, as executives hope, will go a long way toward providing treatment.

"Recognizing that MASH is now a leading cause of liver transplantation in the US, it's time we address this public health crisis," noted Lorraine Stiehl, CEO, American Liver Foundation. "We applaud the new HealthWell MASH fund as it will serve the most marginalized groups affected by the disease and help alleviate some of the financial burdens these communities face in accessing new treatments and care."

The financial challenges that come with tackling such a disease represent an enormous obstacle for patients, so having a fund can make the difference.

"Opening a compliant MASH fund has been a long-time goal for HealthWell," commented Alan Klein, HealthWell Foundation’s chief development officer. "While MASH is currently incurable, there are now available treatments, along with lifestyle changes, to slow the progression of the disease. For patients, accessing and paying for treatment and other associated costs may often present a financial hurdle and dissuade adherence to the prescribed treatment regimen. We thank our dedicated donors for helping us provide financial relief to the MASH community so they can focus on their care, not the cost."

Reference

HealthWell Foundation Launches Broad Fund to Assist Patients Living with Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatohepatitis (MASH). PR Newswire. May 28, 2024. Accessed May 28, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/healthwell-foundation-launches-broad-fund-to-assist-patients-living-with-metabolic-dysfunction-associated-steatohepatitis-mash-302156862.html

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