When people ask me what my biggest regret is, I always say not knowing about the NPF sooner.
One of the biggest challenges of living with psoriasis was not being aware of the resources available to me. The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) has been around for 50 years and I’m only 30. This means the NPF was around when I was a kid but I didn’t really become aware of it until I was in my early 20’s. As an adult the NPF resources changed my life; I became empowered, gained the courage to share my story, and found the ability to relinquish the thought that I was all alone in dealing with this disease. I often wonder how much better my life would have been if I would have known about the National Psoriasis Foundation at 10 years old opposed to the age of 23. Everything happens for a reason so I can’t harp on the past, I’m just glad I now have the NPF has a pivotal asset to my life.
What is the patient navigation center?
The NPF is always looking for ways to help the psoriasis community. One of the newest initiatives is the patient navigation center (PNC) which first debuted in 2016, the first of it’s kind in the psoriasis community. It’s an online platform which uses specially trained patient navigators to help those of us living with psoriasis “navigate” through this disease biggest obstacles.
“The Patient Navigation Center was created as a resource to help people find doctors that understand the disease, and help people through the process of treating and managing their condition at the appropriate level so they can live fully with psoriatic disease,” shares Randy Beranek the NPF’s President and CEO.1
4 ways the NPF Navigation Center helps those of us living with psoriasis
The NPF can help you navigate treatment denials
Has your insurance company ever denied you for a specific treatment? I’ve been denied before and I didn’t know what to do next. The PNC can help you appeal insurance denials and possible have you approved for your desired treatment. Patient navigators are equipped to provide advice and best practices. They also have pre-written letter templates which you can customize and send to your insurance provider. Amy Prentice, the State Government Relations Manager for NPF reveals anytime she encounters a patient battling with denials she does the following, “I always refer them back to the patient navigation center, whether it be to find out if there is a law in place, to find out how to appeal, how to fill out appeal forms, or how to submit appeals.”
The NPF can help you navigate the best doctor fit specifically for you and your needs
Did you know there are different types of dermatologists? Cosmetic derms are the ones who specialize in the aesthetics relating to wrinkle and plastic surgery. Immuno derms are the doctors who examine how the immune system affects the skin. There are some dermatologists who do both, but in my experience, I’ve received my best and most effective treatments from doctors who specialize in the immuno side of things. The NPF navigation center will place you in good hands by providing top doctors in your area who are dedicated to autoimmune diseases including psoriasis and psoriatic disease.
The NPF can help you navigate medical expenses
My medicine cost around $100,000 a year. There is no way I could afford this without patient assistance programs. These programs pay for specific treatments and approval is determined by income and insurance logistics. The NPF is your one-stop shop for identifying all of the financial assistance programs available to patients. If you have been denied treatments by your insurance company or simply can’t afford them the NPF navigation can research on your behalf the available financial resources to help pay for your medicine.
The NPF can help you navigate a healthier lifestyle
If you want to take a healthier stand-in treating your psoriasis the NPF can help! They have individuals in the navigation center trained to provide the best practices when it comes to nutritional goals with a holistic approach in mind. They can also provide exercise tips for those of us living with PsA. “We can provide wellness tips for living healthier with psoriatic disease and even help you prepare for your next doctor visit,” writes Sara Conyers a patient navigator who shares her experience after one year of service to the community.
I only mentioned 4 ways the navigation can help but they have resources for MUCH more. They hope to increase the treatment success rates for those of us living with psoriasis along with our quality of life. You can reach help through the navigation center through normal business hours in four ways which include phone, text, email, live chat, or Skype.