Due to the current Public Health Crisis, we are operating with limited staffing and will be focusing on helping patients through the hotline. Because hotline services are restricted to patients, for the time being, we kindly ask pharmacies, providers, and their staff to use our Pharmacy and Provider Portals during this time. If you have a question that cannot be answered by visiting the portal, please send an email to grants@healthwellfoundation.org. We appreciate your patience and look forward to continuing to serve you.

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Len – Omaha, NE

Len's Story
 

“During my regular six month general wellness check with my primary physician (September, 2017), the labs that preceded that check-up showed some irregularities.  My liver enzymes were sky high.  I participate in a patient portal from my doctor’s office so I saw the lab results before I saw him.

Yes, we enjoy our wine with dinner and sometimes a ‘happy hour’ drink, so I immediately thought I had been drinking too much alcohol.  When I went to the doctor, I told him I wanted to abstain from alcohol for a period of time and have the labs redone.  Five weeks later the liver enzymes were even higher.  I had not consumed a drop of alcohol during those five weeks.

My doctor ran some other labs and it showed a diagnosis of Hepatitis C virus.  Yes, I’ve seen the commercials and I am clearly a ‘baby boomer’.  I was born in 1947.  I’m sure a lot of people would say this but I honestly never used intravenous narcotics, I have never received a transfusion or had any transplant surgery.  I don’t recall ever being in any blood to blood risky situation.  My primary doctor and the GI (Gastro-Intestinal) specialist both told me that is often the case.  We just don’t know when or how.  But!  There it was (I love using the past tense!).

I had an ultrasound and fortunately, through the great work of my doctor, it was early enough that there was no organ damage.

I made an appointment with the GI specialist and the process began.

I was assured that with a new medicine, the cure rate with one pill per day was 96%-99%.  The treatment consisted of three months of the one pill per day.  It could cause some side effects, but I had none.  There are many caveats about consistency issues, etc. and possible other interactions and I followed them faithfully.  Twelve weeks later, labs showed no HCV detected.  I had to wait another three months to be sure.  I was released from treatment because I was cured.

So, where does HealthWell come in?  The twelve week treatment cost would have been over $70,000.  For a fixed income person and a retired educator, it was absolutely prohibitive.  The staff at the specialist’s office intervened with my insurance plan (a Plan D I have with a Medicare supplement), it would have brought the cost down to around $12,000.  That was still a very difficult thing for us.  Along came HealthWell, working with the pharmacy involved, and a grant from them reduced my personal copay to $0!

I gratefully and sincerely consider the Foundation part of my lifesaving cure.  I will be forever grateful to them.”

Len – Omaha, NE