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Patient Advocate Foundation Launches the Heart Valve CareLine, Providing Individualized Assistance to Patients Experiencing Challenges Accessing Healthcare

2013-03-25 10:54 ET - News Release

The Heart Valve CareLine is now available toll-free to provide one-on-one case management support for patients diagnosed with heart valve conditions.

HAMPTON, Va., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), a national non-profit organization with extensive experience in patient-focused case management, is pleased to launch the Heart Valve CareLine as the newest addition to its MedCareLine division thanks to a significant gift from The Edwards Lifesciences Fund.  The Heart Valve CareLine is a national, toll-free patient and provider hotline designed to provide free healthcare information and crucial case management assistance for patients who have been diagnosed with heart valve conditions. The dedicated hotline, 866-318-7892, is staffed by a team of professional case managers from PAF.

As the newest addition to PAF's MedCareLine program, the Heart Valve CareLine provides customized assistance to support people diagnosed with valvular conditions who are facing challenges with accessing the healthcare they need.  An American Heart Association survey of patients with cardiovascular disease found that more than half had difficulties paying for medical care, even though most had insurance, and 46 percent of those who had difficulty paying their medical expenses said they had delayed getting necessary care.(a)  PAF's CareLine is staffed with case managers experienced in assisting patients diagnosed with all types of heart valve conditions, and will provide help to those facing access and financial challenges in their healthcare. The individualized support services include assistance with insurance appeals, insurance benefits and reimbursement, Medicare, Medicaid and Disability screenings, enrollments and/or denials, options for addressing medical debt crisis, as well as referrals to local, state or federal financial resources.

"Thanks to the generous commitment and support from The Edwards Lifesciences Fund, which has resulted in this extension of our MedCareLine division, heart valve patients now have a direct resource for their most complex issues and will benefit from the guidance and expertise of the professional case managers at Patient Advocate Foundation," stated PAF Founder and CEO Nancy Davenport-Ennis.

"We are passionate about helping patients and have made this pursuit our life's work," said Michael A. Mussallem, chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences.  "By uniting with PAF to form the Heart Valve CareLine, we are not only providing technologies to treat patients with valvular disease, but we are also increasing access to the healthcare they need to live long, high-quality lives." 

Patients, caregivers and their providers can view a full list of services available through the Heart Valve CareLine at HeartValve.pafcareline.org  or by calling the dedicated toll-free hotline at 866-318-7892.   PAF's Heart Valve CareLine case managers are available to assist Monday through Thursday from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. and Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Eastern Time. 

About Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF):
PAF is a national non-profit organization, established in 1996, that seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of financial stability relative to their diagnosis of chronic, life threatening or debilitating disease.  Patient Advocate Foundation has been consistently rated as a 4-star "exceptional" charity by Charity Navigator, the foremost independent evaluator of charities in the United States. For more information about Patient Advocate Foundation, please visit www.patientadvocate.org.

About Edwards Lifesciences and The Edwards Lifesciences Fund:
Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW) is the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring. Driven by a passion to help patients, the company partners with clinicians to develop innovative technologies in the areas of structural heart disease and critical care monitoring that enable them to save and enhance lives.  In 2004, the company established The Edwards Lifesciences Fund at the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program to support advancements in knowledge and improvements in quality-of-life, focusing primarily upon cardiovascular disease and the communities where its employees live and work. The Fund's mission is fulfilled by making grants to qualified charitable organizations.  Additional information about the company and its Fund can be found at www.edwards.com.

(a)   Source: American Heart Association, 2009

SOURCE Patient Advocate Foundation

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