There are many organizations that offer free or low-cost healthcare, benefits and other services to pain sufferers. Some empower people through knowledge and education -- such as helping patients find a doctor and make informed choices about their healthcare. Others are there to listen to whatever is troubling you.
Below is a list of resource providers. Click on their names to visit their websites.
Healthcare and Financial Aid
Healthcare Bluebook helps consumers save money on medical expenses -- everything from drugs to surgery to x-rays -- by giving them access to a nationwide database that estimates a fair price for a treatment.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance connects uninsured or underinsured patients to over 475 public and private assistance programs that provide free or low-cost prescription drugs.
RxSaver has a free mobile app that allows you to compare prescription prices at pharmacies in your area. You then show the discounted price on your phone to a participating pharmacy. The price you see is the price you pay.
GoodRx also has a mobile app where you can compare prescription prices at local pharmacies and print free coupons.
WellRx is another drug discount program. Registered users get a savings card that they can use at pharmacies to get an average of 45% off the cost of brand and generic prescription drugs.
Lilly Cares Foundation is a non-profit that operates a patient assistance program that helps qualifying patients obtain the Eli Lilly medications they need in the areas of mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, men's health, osteoporosis, oncology, psoriasis, and growth hormone disorders.
The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics provides a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged Americans. Their website can also help you find a free or charitable clinic that provides meals, companionship and safety checks to seniors and others with mobility issues.
Healthfinder is a U.S. government website where you can apply for Medicare and patient assistance programs that offer free or discounted medications.
Dental Lifeline Network provides donated dental services. They will connect you with a dentist who will make up a treatment plan for you.
Social Security’s Ticket to Work program provides work opportunities to people on disability.
Wikibuy has a list of 63 various discounts available to people with disabilities, from scholarships and financial aid to museums and bus transportation.
Intuit Turbo has a list of scholarships available for students with disabilities, including those with mobility and physical disabilities.
This Google search page has information on dozens of programs that offer free lifeline cell phones.
Information and Education
The Tennant Foundation has a free handbook for patients and families living with adhesive arachnoiditis and other intractable pain conditions. The handbook features the latest groundbreaking research on hormones and pain care. To see and download a copy, click here.
The Tennant Foundation has also developed a simple screening test for patients who believe they may have arachnoiditis. If a patient answers “yes” to at least four of the seven questions in the test, they should immediately be evaluated by a physician to confirm the diagnosis.
Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS) has compiled a list 100 health websites it considers trustworthy.
PubMed allows you to search for published research studies involving treatments and medications.
OpenMD is a search engine where you can learn about hundreds of health conditions and treatments, and access medical journals and government databases.
Physician Compare helps patients find and compare doctors and other providers enrolled in Medicare.
Vitals is a search engine that can help you find a doctor with a specific specialty anywhere in the United States, along with patient reviews.
Amino utilizes an extensive database of insurance claims to help patients "take the guesswork out of healthcare" by identifying doctors, specialists and treatments in their area.
RateMDs has patient reviews of over a million physicians and health facilities, including some outside the United States.
Healthgrades uses an extensive database and patient reviews to rate doctors based on their experience, complication rates at the hospitals where they practice, and patient satisfaction.
Surgeon Scorecard was developed by ProPublica to rate surgeons who perform eight common elective procedures, including spinal fusions, knee replacements, and hip replacements.
Hospital Compare uses patient reviews to rate the quality of care at over 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals. Medicare's funding formula rewards hospitals that are rated highly by patients, while penalizing those that are not.
Leapfrog Hospital Survey rates 1,800 hospitals in the United States on various safety and quality issues, ranging from hand washing policies to surgical outcomes.
Iodine has been called the "Yelp of Medicine." It uses patient reviews to rate the quality, effectiveness and side effects of prescription drugs, including opioid medication.
Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the ABIM Foundation to educate patients and providers about wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures. If your doctor recommends a particular treatment, you can search a database to see if it is appropriate for your condition.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a database that reveals if your doctor received money from a drug maker or medical device company for consulting, travel expenses, meals, research and speaker fees.
Dollars for Docs is a similar website created by ProPublica that tracks payments to doctors by drug makers and medical device companies.
If you feel you've been been denied healthcare because of a disability, you can file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Justice Department under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA protects patients against discrimination based on physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major activities.
For information about the rights and responsibilities of landlords to make their properties accessible to the disabled, click here.
Counseling and Hotlines
The National Health Information Center has an extensive list of toll free hotlines for information on medical conditions.
PsychCentral has a list of hotlines available 24 hours a day that can help you with whatever assistance you need, from substance abuse to domestic violence issues.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline links crisis centers across the United States into one national chat network that provides emotional support, crisis intervention and suicide prevention services.
Suicide.org has a listing of suicide hotlines by state.
The Samaritans is a hotline that offers emotional support to people dealing with every kind of problem, including illness, trauma and loss.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a web page that can help you find a drug abuse or mental health treatment facility near you.
Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 support for people in any type of crisis. Text 741741 in the United States or Text 686868 in Canada and you’ll be connected with a trained crisis counselor.
Meditianment is an online guided meditation designed to make your pain seem less important. The initial 21-minute trial is free.
If you know of other groups or organizations that provide worthwhile services to the pain community, send an email to editor@PainNewsNetwork.org.