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Melani Rocheleau: grants change lives

As the billing and authorization manager at Suncoast Rheumatology, Melani Rocheleau spends her days working directly with patients to help them afford life-saving therapies.

Face of a person wearing a shamrock hat

It’s Melani’s job to analyze her patients’ benefits and authorize treatment with insurance companies. “I discuss the insurance verification process with patients and come up with options to help them be able to afford the therapy that will ultimately give them a better quality of life,” said Melanie.

At Suncoast Rheumatology, Melani sees patients who have health conditions that influence their everyday life and often cause pain and disability. “When rheumatoid arthritis or lupus flares, patients have a very poor quality of life. It’s difficult for them to work and take care of loved ones or themselves” she said.

Melani’s goal is to connect her patients with the treatment they need to effectively manage their condition and live an active life. “The most rewarding thing is helping people get the therapy they need to lead normal lives with no pain,” she said.

Life-changing patient assistance

One day, Melani met with a patient who had recently switched insurance plans and could no longer afford the medication she had been taking for years.

When Melani first met with her, she hadn’t had any therapy in almost a year and, due to severe rheumatoid arthritis, could barely function. With Melani’s help, her patient was able to get a PAN grant that allowed her to restart therapy and live the independent life she desired.

“I was able to get her funding with a PAN grant, and she has been on therapy for two years now. I am happy to tell you she has been independent for the entire time while under our care,” she said.

Time-saving tools for billing departments

Melani has been referring patients to the PAN Foundation for three years. Her advice to other billing managers and financial navigators is to “be patient and persistent when checking for funds to open. Timing is everything.”

As a busy professional, Melani uses the PAN portal to save time and manage her patients’ grants. “The portal is very easy to use, and I love the reminder emails when the funds are open,” she said.

These grants change lives. They help people be able to afford the therapies they need to live their lives as close to normal as possible.

With the time she saves by streamlining her workflow, Melanie indulges in the activities that bring her joy. “When I’m not working, I am outside or at the beach! I love hiking in the mountains, kayaking, bike riding, swimming, running, and walking.”

Melani knows how much her patients must sacrifice to afford a better quality of life, and with her help, patients can maintain their normal lives free of unnecessary pain.

“These grants change lives. They help people be able to afford the therapies they need to live their lives as close to normal as possible. Seeing the happiness on their faces when they feel better is priceless!” she said.