Senior Services staff help eligible low- income Medicare patients receiving care from a John Muir Health physician complete the enrollment process for pharmaceutical companies' patient assistance programs. The goal is to assist low-income older adults in obtaining free brand name prescription medications thereby enabling them to follow the treatment plan recommended by their physician and improve or maintain their health and quality of life.
Mrs. Z, a bright and articulate 74 year old Hispanic widow, lives alone in Oakley and receives $1061.50 from Social Security monthly. Because this is her only income, this places her at 100% of the federal poverty level. She has no family and few friends in her life. After paying rent, utilities, food and medical bills, she is unable to afford prescription medications. A medication prescribed to offset a family history of high cholesterol and stroke has a very high co-pay. A second medication which controls debilitating and painful arthritis is not covered by her Medicare prescription drug plan. Without the medication she is unable to maintain her ability to perform daily tasks of living. The patient's primary physician referred her to the Medication Assistance Program, which was able to apply and obtain both medications, a value of almost $3000. The patient is now feeling good, remains independent and lives in her own home.