ACCC launches financial advocacy boot camp in response to catastrophic cancer costs

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The cost of cancer care continues to be a top concern for patients and their healthcare providers. In response, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has launched The Financial Advocacy Boot Camp, the first free online training program designed for all those who work to assist cancer patients in navigating financial issues related to their cancer treatment. As a just-released report, The Costs of Cancer: Addressing Patient Costs, from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network makes clear, “Not only does cancer take an enormous toll on the health of patients and survivors—it also has a tremendous financial impact. For patients and their families, the costs associated with direct cancer care are staggering.”

The challenge patients face in dealing with the rising cost of care is also highlighted in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2017 State of Cancer Care in America report, which notes that “Even among patients with health insurance, a cancer diagnosis can be financially catastrophic.” Financial advocates have become vital members of today’s cancer care team, playing a critical role in helping patients access treatment and understand the costs of care, and working to reduce the potential for financial toxicity as a side effect of cancer. Due to the evolving and increasing complex healthcare coverage landscape, financial advocates have an ongoing need for training, information, and resources.

“A cancer diagnosis is a stressful and life-altering event. Financial advocates can help by playing a key role in alleviating the added financial stress of a cancer diagnosis. ACCC’s Financial Advocacy Boot Camp training will help these professionals keep up with the ever-changing landscape and tools to best help the patients they work with,” said Mark S. Soberman, MD, MBA, FACS, ACCC president and medical director, Oncology Service Line and Chief Physician Executive, Monocacy Health Partners at Frederick Regional Health System. 

Developed by expert, experienced oncology financial advocates, this comprehensive online program covers five domain areas:

  • Financial Advocacy Fundamentals
  • Enhancing Communication
  • Improving Insurance Coverage
  • Maximizing External Assistance
  • Developing and Improving Financial Advocacy Programs and Services.

Steven Ackerman, Patient Support Coordinator, Kadlec Clinic Hematology & Oncology in Kennewick, WA, recently completed the program. “I feel the Financial Advocacy Boot Camp is the most comprehensive and useful training method for both new and seasoned financial advocates. It is a crucial tool in the new field of financial advocacy and the ever-changing healthcare system.”

“As a newcomer to oncology, financial navigation can feel like a daunting task. I was relieved to find this boot camp! Now, I am more confident that I can help my patients make informed choices to ease their financial stress,” said Joanita Miranda, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.

About the Financial Advocacy Boot Camp

The Financial Advocacy Boot Camp is designed for financial advocates, nurses, nurse and patient navigators, social workers, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, medical coders, administrative staff, cancer program administrators, and other healthcare professionals involved in financial advocacy for patients with cancer. The boot camp is the newest resource from the ACCC Financial Advocacy Network.  Established in 2012, the Financial Advocacy Network provides needed resources to help expand the skills and knowledge base of oncology care team members who deal directly with patients on complex financial issues surrounding their cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

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ACCC launches financial advocacy boot camp in response to catastrophic cancer costs.  Appl Rad Oncol. 

By News Release| May 02, 2017
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