Jen Collier with her local congressman, US Representative Ralph Norman
Hearts for Home Care Ambassador Jen Collier, Transitional Care Manager for the Charlotte Visits (CV) office, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to join other families on Capitol Hill to advocate for her father and the many other individuals across the United States that receive charitable assistance. Jen’s father was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia for which there are only two medications that can effectively treat the illness.
Jen’s father failed the trial for one of the medications, so he must take the second medication, which exceeds $23,000 per month in out-of-pocket costs. When he was diagnosed, he owned his own business, but when he lost his business, he lost his insurance. Working as a new nurse in an emergency department in Gastonia, NC, Jen found herself having to learn how to get him the necessary care as an uninsured client. She spent most of her time calling oncologists and begging them to take her father as their patient with no insurance. She also had to find out how to pay for this medication and the 24 others he needed for his other chronic health conditions.
Patient Services, Inc. (PSI) is a charitable organization that helped Jen navigate this complicated process and assisted with the out-of-pocket costs for his medication. Once he passed the waiting period for disability and got Medicare, his out-of-pocket responsibility still cost him $7,000 per month, even with his supplement. PSI continued to assist Jen and her father with these monthly payments.
Last year, Jen received notification that her father’s financial assistance was in jeopardy due to federal efforts to cut charitable contributions. PSI selected Jen to help them lobby Congress in support of H.R. 3976, which, if passed, would add PSI and other similar companies to the list of those exempt from this law. During her day on Capitol Hill, Jen met with over 10 representatives and their staff to gain support for this bill, which affects not only her father, but many of the patients she works with every day as a transitional care manager.
Jen said “It was a huge honor to be selected by PSI to help gain support for this bill. PSI is a wonderful organization and I don’t know where my father would be without their assistance. My director put me right in touch with GAO, and everyone has been so encouraging. I am so thankful to work for a company that was able to give me the necessary training and support as I navigated this complicated process for the first time. I am passionate about being an advocate every day for my patients because of what I have been through with my father.”