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Patient Advocacy Program

The Patient Advocacy Program (PAP) is a point of contact and resource coordinator for patients prescribed controlled substance medications who abruptly lost access to care.

Additionally, PAP connects with patients to learn more about concerns related to the prescribing of opioids and other controlled substances, access to prescriptions, and barriers to finding a doctor. PAP communicates patient feedback with internal and external stakeholders to inform coordinated, patient-centered healthcare in Pennsylvania.

Patients with questions or feedback may contact PAP by emailing ra-dh-advocacy@pa.gov or calling 844-377-7367.

Where Patients Can Seek Care

When patients suddenly lose access to their healthcare provider, they may feel they have no other options but to turn to other sources to avoid withdrawals.

We want you to know help is available.

The following steps are recommended to patients to access care when they suddenly lose a healthcare provider:

  1. Contact your primary care provider to discuss next steps in your care.
  2. If you do not have a primary care provider, locate one by calling the number on the back of your health insurance card.
    Alternatively, you may consider visiting a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in your area for healthcare services or for help obtaining health insurance. FQHCs provide services to everyone regardless of ability to pay. To find a health center near you visit: www.findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.

Avoid Withdrawal

When a patient who has been treated with opioids or benzodiazepines suddenly loses access to a healthcare provider, the patient is at risk of medication withdrawal if care is not reestablished.

Patients at high risk of withdrawal can contact their local Single County Authority (SCA) to learn more about treatment services, including options for safely and comfortably detoxing. Look up the SCA in your county here.

Avoid Opioid Overdose

Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose and is available through a state-wide standing order, which means you do not need a prescription. Most pharmacies carry naloxone. For more information, visit: PA.gov/opioids

Find Treatment

Help is available for those battling substance use disorder. Call the Get Help Now Hotline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit ddap.pa.gov for treatment information.

Helpful Resources for Patients

PA DOH Opioid Epidemic Information for Individual and Families
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Helpful Material for Patients