Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is harrowing for any patient, but not knowing how or if you’ll be able to pay for treatment adds tremendous stress to an already difficult time. Thankfully, UCHealth has a dedicated team of staff working to help patients in this exact situation, and with funding provided by Susan G. Komen® Colorado we have ways to make treatment a reality for anyone who qualifies.
The Susan G. Komen® Foundation is the global leader in the fight against breast cancer. Since it was founded in 1982 Komen has invested more than $1.9 billion dollars in research, treatment, and prevention. The Colorado Affiliate of Susan G. Komen has provided funding to UCHealth hospitals in the north for more than seven straight years. Funding that can bridge the critical gap for under and uninsured patients who would otherwise have to turn down the care that could save their lives.
Uninsured and underinsured patients often work paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the means to cover co-pays, prescriptions, or treatment not covered by whatever insurance they do have. Perhaps they have a very high deductible plan and aren’t able to pay the out of pocket costs. Whatever their situation, our patients are able to meet free of charge with an oncology social worker who will assess their insurance coverage and estimate out of pocket costs. When the social worker finds gaps in their coverage that the patient won’t be able to bridge, that’s when our Komen Colorado grant funding comes in.
The grant funding we have been awarded is available to cover treatment costs for patients who might otherwise choose not to proceed with treatment. The social worker uses the Komen Colorado funding as a last resort option so access to this funding becomes the difference between being able to fight your cancer with world-class care and having to simply resign yourself to the disease.
Komen funding made all the difference for a recent patient. This 63-year-old, single, registered nurse had already battled breast cancer back in 2003. That four year fight drained most of her resources so when she learned that the cancer had returned she nearly felt like giving up, especially when surgeries and treatments began interfering with her ability to work. She was able to receive co-pay assistance through the Komen funding and continued her care. The access to financial support went beyond just reducing a barrier to the treatment she needed. It enabled her to stay in treatment while eventually resuming a work life when she was able.
We at the PVH and MCR Foundation never want the potential of financial burden to stand in the way of access to care and treatment. That is why we are so thankful for our longstanding partnership with Susan G. Komen® Colorado. We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded $44,814 for the 2015-2016 year and with this funding will be able to continue changing outcomes for our patients right here in northern Colorado.