PAP 2024: Tiara Green Discusses Challenges of Patient Assistance Organizations

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In an interview with Pharma Commerce Associate Editor Don Tracy, Tiara Green, Interim CEO, Accessia Health offers insight on challenges faced by patient assistance organizations and how to face them.

PC: You'll be a part of the “Ask Me Anything Session with Leading Charitable Foundations” session. Without giving too much away, can you tell us what the session will cover?

Green: We will really be talking about where patient assistance organizations stand as of today, also talking a little bit about the trends and how we can work with other organizations to make an impact. Not to give too much away, but make sure to be there.

PC: What do you see as the biggest hurdle to providing more widespread patient assistance that better addresses the scale and complexity of needs?

Green: I think that answer is always going to be about the same. We are a charitable organization that relies on donations from a variety of different sources. So it's always going to be how do we continue to assist with the resources that we have? How do we increase our resources and receive more donations, it's always going back to the bottom line, and our ability to assist as many as possible.

PC: What challenges do you anticipate patient assistance organizations (PAOs) facing in the coming year?

Green: I attended the session this morning, where they talked about the Inflation Reduction Act. We all know what went into play in January with the Inflation Reduction Act, and we know what's coming in January 2025. What we do not know is what the impact will be or how insurance companies will react, whether it's narrowing of some of those formularies or it's an increase in our premiums. That means more people will be relying on patient assistance organizations so that they can afford their care. It puts us in a very interesting predicament because many of the patient assistance organizations that currently have wait lists will have to continue to answer that demand for assistance.

PC: Considering ongoing advancements and evolving trends, what do you foresee as the future landscape of patient assistance and its impact on healthcare access?

Green: There are a lot of gene therapies that are coming out that are at a very high dollar amount. I think we will see an increase in the number of individuals who are seeking assistance in accessing some of the gene therapies. Not only the cost of those, but maybe to get to a potential treatment center, which means that they need travel assistance. But I think there's going to be an increase over time.

PC: How can nonprofit PAOs address continued disparities in health literacy and health equity?

Green: It's multifaceted, right? Accessia Health has a webinar series called Amplify Your Voice, Control Your Care. We really try to educate individuals so that they can be their own advocate and make sure they are amplifying their voice so that they understand how do I speak to my physician? How do I navigate health care and how do I understand some of these health insurance terms? We play the role of educator and in order to improve health literacy for those that we serve, we try to bring topics forward that are going to really amplify their voice so that they can control their care.

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