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G. Liu, A. Madu; Physician Awareness of PAP (Patient-Assistance-Programs) in Ophthalmology Compared to Other Medical Specialties in the Bronx. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):5339.
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To compare physician awareness across different specialties in the Bronx regarding PAP, or Patient Assistance Programs via anonymous questionnaire.
A brief anonymous questionnaire was given to randomly selected physicians across various specialties in 2 different hospitals in the Bronx, and was collected and evaluated.
30 Physicians were randomly surveyed across various specialties which included: Ophthalmology, Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine, Otolaryngology, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and General Surgery.The results of the anonymous questionnaire were as follows:1. Approximately 33% (11/30) physicians expressed awareness of specific medications associated with PAP2. Of the 33%, only one Ophthalmologist knew a specific medication for which PAP is offered.3. Of the physicians who were not aware of specific medications which offered PAP, the main reason PAP was not addressed was because of: lack of awareness of PAP for the prescribed medication, lack of patient inquiry, and limited time/too much paperwork involved.4. 29 of 30 surveyed reported addressing PAP with patients approximately 0-15% of total visits.5. Of the physicians who were aware of PAP, only 4/11 named a specific medication.
The ACGME delineates specific requirements and recommendations for which physicians must demonstrate competency. These include, under the heading of "Systems-Based Practice, "advocat[ing] for quality patient care and assist[ing] patients in dealing with system complexities." In Ophthalmology, it is a widely studied and well-documented fact that specific barriers to patient compliance include the high-cost of prescribed medications. These include many chronic medications, namely those used for glaucoma therapy, which often require multiple, chronic, lifelong medications.Our results demonstrate that, despite overall physician-awareness regarding the existence of PAP, this beneficial program is not frequently utilized. Reasons commonly expressed by physicians include:1. Difficulty with excess paperwork, for both the physician and patient.2. Patients do not express the need for payment-assistance.3. Physicians are not aware of which drugs may actually have programs for which qualified patients may apply.Still, however, physician-awareness of PAP can be significantly improved. Moreover, incorporating patient-awareness of PAP may also improve physician involvement in proactively inquiring and enrolling patients in such programs. Consequently, a barrier to patient-compliance may also be significantly relieved.
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