We advocate for what patients want. We teach patients to advocate for themselves. We support patients through encouraging community.
How do we do this important work?
First, we listen. We listen to the voices of patients and caregivers who have been directly served by our sister organization, the Patient Advocate Foundation, and we listen to those who have shared their stories with us via our online portal or at one of our many skill-building events.
Next, we help. We work with individuals to build skills that work at home, the doctor’s office or in a legislative office. We work directly with patients, providers, caregivers and their advocates to promote:
- Shared-decision making skills between patients and providers
- Medical billing literacy
- Health equity
- Awareness of patient rights
Then, we collect and compile data on the patient experience at hospitals and doctor’s offices, and regularly publish reports on this quantitative and qualitative data.
Finally, we amplify the patient’s voice by connecting patients with the media and helping interested volunteers work in legislative, research or community advocacy.
NPAF Urges State and Federal Governments to Help People #GetCovered for COVID-19
March 13, 2020 - In light of the international coronavirus pandemic, National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) urged both state and federal government programs to use every available mechanism to quickly enroll people during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Even without a pandemic, a patient’s first defense against poor health and financial ruin is good insurance coverage. We hope every uninsured person knows that they have options, and we urge both state and federal governments to use every mechanism they can to help people both enroll and afford their coverage,” said Alan Balch, CEO of NPAF.
'Heart Matters' Event in MS Delta
March 3, 2020 - People who are having trouble accessing the health care they need will have the chance to discuss their problems and propose solutions with local providers and advocates in Mound Bayou, Mississippi on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Hosted by Dr. Tammy T. Taylor and the National Patient Advocate Foundation, participants will discuss what matters to patients and providers in our community.
Medicaid Block Grants Will Hurt Patients, Says NPAF
January 30, 2020 - New guidance from the CMS could fundamentally change the Medicaid program in a way that hurts patients and renders critical health services inaccessible, said NPAF today.
The guidance, which CMS touts as allowing states to “potentially achieve new levels of flexibility,” while “providing taxpayers with greater budget certainty,” will allow states to cap a portion of spending for the program for the millions of patients who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
“The Medicaid expansion saved lives. If we want to lower systemic costs, we need to find an approach that isn’t about slashing benefits and reducing access,” said Alan Balch, CEO of NPAF.
Medicaid has always operated with a coverage guarantee: people who qualify can enroll and receive a core set of health care services that all states must cover through an unlimited federal match. Traditionally, states can then choose to offer additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage.
"NPAF is here to assure that the patient perspective is heard and that it matters.”
— Alan Balch, PhD, Chief Executive Officer
For media inquiries, including requests for patient stories, please contact Caitlin Donovan using the form below. For immediate deadlines, please call 202-465-5113.
The Philadelphia Tribune
Confronting new health insurance deductibles
“What we recommend is kind of to be crafty about how you approach your health care spending and plan as much as you can,” said the Patient Advocate Foundation’s Caitlin Donovan.
If Doctors Were Cost Conscious
For patients facing serious diagnoses, cost-of-care discussions can be particularly challenging, says Gwen Darien, a three-time cancer survivor who is now executive vice president of the National Patient Advocate Foundation in Washington, D.C. “We don’t prepare for being sick, and all of a sudden you’re dealing with bill after bill,” Darien says. “It’s difficult to figure out what your insurance will pay and how things will change from year to year. These types of conversations need to be normalized.”
The Fresno Bee
Coronavirus could mean hefty medical bills for California’s uninsured
Donovan’s advice to those who don’t have health insurance but need treatment: Apply for retroactive Medicaid coverage, look for financial aid at the hospital itself or from charities and check to see if you are eligible for housing or nutritional assistance to offset the cost of medical bills.
PBS News Hour
How uninsured patients can get help during COVID-19 pandemic
“Your health isn’t just about your medical expenses; it’s about you as an entire person,” Donovan with the National Patient Advocate Foundation said. “People pay for their health care with the same bank account that they pay for everything else.”
Practicing What We Preach
How NPAF is Putting People at the Heart of Care
It’s no secret that here at NPAF our vision is to bring person-centered care everywhere. We want it to be demanded by all patients and caregivers and integrated into all care settings. This vision is why we’ve been such strong advocates for community-based palliative care. The foundation of palliative care is based on person-centered principles: communicating with empathy; involving caregivers; and acknowledging that patient values and preferences are a fundamental part of delivering quality care. For this reason, NPAF supports state and federal legislation aimed at raising public awareness of palliative care and making training available to clinicians who treat people with serious illnesses.