Going the Extra Mile

Brandon Jeffcoats, Patient Advocate Team Lead, Atlas Health
December 23, 2021
Brandon Jeffcoats, Patient Advocate Team Lead, Atlas Health

“I have a patient diagnosed with an oral tumor who had difficulty speaking. He was prescribed Keytruda, but due financial hardship, couldn’t afford the drug. I used Atlas Navigator to enroll him in a Merck program which turned out to be very challenging due to many factors. My patient was initially denied, program forms changed requiring resubmission, and additional income information was essential to justify his need. Each time I called the patient with updates, he lost more hope.

Three days before his scheduled infusion, we finalized the application, and the patient signed it digitally through Atlas. After another resubmission, I discovered a wet signature was now needed due to a new requirement. I escalated the case to a Merck supervisor who promised to push the application through if it was signed that day and then called the patient just after 4 p.m. He didn’t have a scanner, lived two hours from the infusion center, and couldn’t sign and fax the application from there to meet our deadline.

We worked together to find a solution: I emailed him the app, and the patient printed, signed, and faxed me back from a local Staples store. Coordinating directly with the Merck supervisor, we secured approval and ordered the no-cost medication by 9 p.m. that night. When I shared the good news, the patient broke down and thanked me repeatedly for not giving up on him. His infusion went great, and he has hope to get better. At Atlas, we always go that extra mile to make sure no patient is left behind!”