These past few weeks have been very dispiriting. I know many of you are at your wits’ end.
It is difficult to call in every day to see if the fund you rely on is accepting applications for 2018 assistance. It is even more difficult knowing that the year is ending and assistance with next year’s health care needs is uncertain.
We are currently working through how to handle assistance requests in light of the decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to rescind our Advisory Opinion. The Advisory Opinion process is complex, but in the most general terms, an Advisory Opinion provides certain charities, like CVC, with some reassurances related to the operation of their financial assistance program. It is, therefore, imperative that we move forward with utmost care.
Accordingly, we continue to concentrate on ensuring that each of our practices at CVC follow both the letter and spirit of all applicable laws and regulations. People living with chronic illnesses are our top priority and we have always made decisions with their best interests in mind. Since I came on as President and CEO six months ago, doing so through fully compliant services has been our singular focus. Doing things correctly is always more important than doing things quickly.
This is difficult to say, but yes, we are very concerned that we may not be able to remain as a long-term viable resource for individuals with chronic illness. The CVC Board of Directors is continuing to evaluate all options available to our organization. But in the immediate term, our focus is squarely on how to first help patients.
The last thing we want to do is increase your anxiety or introduce confusion into your health care in any way. With that said: The organization will announce its decision about the future, and whether, or to what degree, we will be able to offer assistance in 2018, at some point in January.
In the meantime, I urge you to seek out alternate resources from other patient assistance programs and take assistance where and when you can. The website goodrx.com may be of interest to you, as it serves as a frequently updated resource related to drug prices and available discount or assistance programs.
I will share more news very soon.