Kimberly
Online Facilitator
    Post count: 4288

    Hello – Navigating the medical system can be a challenging task, and there aren’t any easy answers, but here are some suggestions. It is *very* important that you become your own advocate and be extremely aggressive in seeking medical care to help get you stabilized again on the replacement hormone.

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    Contacting your state and county health and economic security departments can sometimes be a good starting point. Even if you are not Medicaid eligible, these offices can sometimes suggest other resources. Local hospitals, universities, or medical schools can also be good options.

    There are a number of clinics in the U.S. that provide care on a free or sliding scale basis. The U.S. government’s Health Resources and Services Administration web site allows you to do a search by zip code. Although they don’t always offer specialist care, they can at least connect you with a physician that can order labs and prescribe medications. You can find them on the web at: http://www.hrsa.gov/index.html

    Also, there is a non-profit organization called the Patient Advocate Foundation that helps individuals who are uninsured and underinsured seek access to medical care. You can find them on the web at: http://www.patientadvocate.org/

    You might also consider contacting individual endocrinologists to see if they have suggestions for assistance. Referral sites for endocrinologists are available at http://www.aace.com and http://www.thyroid.org. On the AACE site, be sure and select the specialty “thyroid dysfunction.” We have also just launched a physician registry of doctors who have told us they have particular expertise in Graves’. To access the registry, go to the home page at http://www.gdatf.org and click on “physician registry” in the box on the top right-hand side of the screen. (You have to be logged in to view the registry). Because we are just getting started, we might not yet have a lot of listings in your part of the country.

    Many brand-name drug companies offer prescription assistance for patients who can demonstrate financial need. A doctor should be able to get you started with the paperwork. Another option is that some drug companies provide direct discounts to patients who do not have insurance.

    Take care – and please check back and let us know how you are doing!