The Patient Advocate Foundation is recommended with reservations. Although the information available on the site is vast, it is difficult to navigate and many of the pages are outdated. Further, users may have a hard time finding assistance that is relevant to them.
The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) provides case management services to Americans with life-threatening illnesses. The homepage has a scrolling bar with pictures and examples of possible assistance you can receive from the PAF. However, there are no links associated with these examples, and the motion is more distracting than helpful.
There is a toolbar with topics such as "Get Help," "Healthcare Reform," and "Resources." Further subtopics are in the drop-down menus. The search bar allows users to search keywords, but the results are confusing and often just lead to other pages on the website with no specific assistance or information listed.
The individual pages have extensive text with few to no graphics. It is unclear where to find information on case management assistance, even with that being the main mission of the foundation. There is a phone number to call, but no explanation of who should call, or any sort of requirements to be eligible for assistance. There is an assortment of potential financial and informational resources; however, they are listed on separate pages with no way of sorting or organizing them. The categories and subtopics are vague and don't clarify what users should expect to encounter within them. There is no clear way to find specific information, and users will have to search the site for a bit and read a fair amount to find the information that may help them.
Although the color scheme is appealing, the font is small and there are almost no graphics on the PAF site. The written content is lengthy and often overwhelming. Links to further information are set as headers which are easily missed by visitors. The pages do load quickly, though, and no dead links have been found.
The information provided on the website is relevant to those looking for financial and medical assistance. However, the pages have no publication dates and are not up-to-date. Multiple pages reference the Affordable Care Act and the changes that will be coming into effect in 2012, such as "Insurance Resources and Appeals." Sadly, these materials do not reflect the constantly changing health insurance landscape we face today.
There are financial resources available under the different "Resource Directories" depending on the insurance coverage users have. Here they are able to input their age, location by state, diagnosis, and the type of assistance they require. Results come up based on these specifications. This is a helpful feature that most visitors will appreciate.
The "Disease Specific Resources" page has information regarding assistance based on a diagnosis, but the different diseases listed are few and do not cover a wide variety, leaving many users without aid. There is also a "Medication Assistance" page that lists pharmaceutical companies and the major financial assistance programs they provide. However, patients will need to know the manufacturer of their medications, and then go to that specific pharmaceutical site to see if their medication is listed on the patient assistance page. This process is more cumbersome than is necessary.