Editor’s NoteA serious diagnosis takes a heavy toll on patients, medically and financially. Proactive financial navigation can make a huge difference in patients’ lives by connecting them with the resources they need to afford care. In the third installment of our “Patient Stories” series, learn how navigator Jennifer Burgess from our TailorMed Complete team eased the financial burden for a patient with uterine cancer.


Financial navigator: Jennifer Burgess

Diagnosis: Uterine cancer

Type of healthcare organization: Infusion center

Medication: Keytruda

Assistance program: Merck Access copay program

Costs covered: $5,500

Patient financial responsibility without assistance: ~ $2,500 per treatment until the patient reached $5,500 annual out-of-pocket maximum 

Patient financial responsibility with assistance: Administration of medication only = ~ $204 x two treatments before patient met out-of-pocket maximum

Financial navigator Jen Burgess from our TailorMed Complete team worked with a patient who had been diagnosed with stage IV uterine cancer. The patient was prescribed Keytruda, a potentially lifesaving immunotherapy drug. Keytruda is often prescribed when cancer has spread to other parts of the body. 

Although the treatment offers a ray of hope, it also comes with a hefty price tag. “In my experience, even if treatment causes extreme financial hardship, patients will make it work, as Keytruda can give the gift of life,” Jen explained. For some patients, this may mean cutting back on necessary living expenses like utilities or groceries in order to afford the medication.

Jen enrolled the patient in a copay assistance program offered by Merck, the manufacturer of Keytruda. Jen followed up to let the patient know that she had been approved for the program–and that her large balances for two dates of service would be submitted for reimbursement. These balances quickly added up to the patient’s annual out-of-pocket maximum. The patient expressed tremendous gratitude. “This is a wonderful blessing on a Friday afternoon,” she told Jen. “You are my favorite person this month.”

“I could feel the patient’s thankfulness through the phone,” Jen said. “Most of the oncology patients I work with are inundated with medical appointments, imaging or scans, bloodwork, and more. It is constant. When one of those interactions can bring good news, such as lessening the financial burden, I call it a win. Experiences like this truly make what we do at TailorMed feel like the best job in the world.” 

Interested in partnering with our TailorMed Complete team to optimize financial assistance and reach more patients? Contact us to learn more.