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Financial Guide

Posted 6/9/2016

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  Yes, I know this is a double entry day, but I will be unable to post tomorrow. This afternoon, I am flying to DC for a long-planned family funeral tomorrow morning. I know how weird that sounds; here is the story. My aunt, my mother's sister, died two years ago, and her husband died last summer. He was an Annapolis graduate and in the Navy for many years. Their wish was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Both were cremated, and we have been waiting.

  One assumes (and certainly hopes) that kids killed in Afghanistan are immediately buried at Arlington, if that is their choice, but old vets apparently go on a waiting list. The family was told that they would be given a date, and, if that date were not possible, they would go again to the end of the waiting list. Fortunately the date, tomorrow, worked for everyone. My aunt and uncle were old and had wonderful lives, so this is sad, but not tragic. I have been mostly thinking about how nice it will be to see my cousins, some of whom I have not seen for decades. One of my brothers in a minister, so he will conduct the service, and the military always does a superb job with ritual.

  Back to this blog entry: having given you a new guide about sexuality and intimacy, I am happy to give you another new resource about finances. Two difficult topics: sex and money! This one is from The Association of Community Cancer Centers. Again, I will give you an introduction and a link to read it online or download it or order a paper copy.

Association of Community Cancer Centers announces 2016 Patient Assistance and Reimbursement

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) recently released the 2016 version of its user-friendly guide to help cancer program staff quickly identify resources for patients with cancer who are dealing with the financial challenges of treatment. Now in its sixth year, the Patient Assistance and Reimbursement Guide is a robust tool with information regarding pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical patient assistance
programs and reimbursement resources in an easy-to-use format, according to the ACCC. The guide is available at www.accccancer. org/publications.
Included in the guide are:
A question-and-answer interview with Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, of the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina, and clinical financial consultant Dan Sherman, MA, LPC, of The Lacks Cancer Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, regarding the crucial need to improve approaches to addressing financial toxicity
Tips for optimizing co-pay assistance programs
A list of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical patient assistance programs
Patient assistance flow charts for specific populations (uninsured, those insured with Medicare, those insured with Medicaid, self-pay, etc.)
A drug-specific guide to patient assistance programs.
The guide is available in print and as a PDF with direct links to the patient assistance Web sites and forms needed by both patients and providers.
The ACCC also offers tools, resources, and training for cancer program financial advocates through the ACCC Financial Advocacy Network.
According to the ACCC's 2015 survey of member cancer programs, approximately 54% of member programs reported an increase in the number of underinsured patients within the past year and 21% observed an increase in the number of uninsured patients within that same time frame.
Respondents also noted greater numbers of patients who need help with prescription drug expenses, co-pays, and co-insurance. Although the majority of practices have a financial advocate on staff to help, they say navigating the requirements, restrictions, and application processes for patient assistance programs can be difficult for both providers and patients.


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