Access to Health Care

ACS CAN advocates for policies that provide access to treatments and services people with cancer need for their care - including those who may be newly diagnosed, in active treatment and cancer survivors.

Prescription Drug Affordability Resources:

Many cancer patients take multiple drugs as part of their treatment – often for many months or years. While drugs are not the only costly part of cancer treatment, finding ways to reduce these costs for patients and payers will significantly reduce the overall cost burden of cancer.

Many cancer patients have difficulty affording the cost of their prescription drugs, regardless of whether they are insured.  This is especially true for newer drugs that do not have a generic equivalent.  Many programs exist to help patients afford their medication.  This fact sheet focuses on two of these – patient assistance programs and discount coupons.  

ACS CAN joined organizations representing cancer patients, survivors, providers, and caregivers urging the administration to address barriers to access to care and coverage during the public health crisis

ACS CAN joined 50 groups representing, cancer patients, survivors, doctors, nurses, cancer centers, pharmacists and researchers urging Congress to address barriers to patient access to care and coverage.

The Medicare Access for Patients Rx (MAPRx) Coalition raises concerns about proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug benefit and Medicare Advantage plans

ACS CAN supports legislative and regulatory policies at the state and federal level that prohibit patients from being surprise billed for unexpected out-of-network care.

ACS CAN comments to Secretary Alex Azar on Drug Rebate Proposed Rule

Biological drugs, commonly referred to as biologics, are a class of drugs that are produced using a living system, such as a microorganism, plant cell, or animal cell. Like all drugs, biologics are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For an individual with specific health care needs – like cancer patients and survivors – the drugs covered by a health plan and corresponding cost sharing for each drug is important information when choosing health insurance. However, to make an informed choice, formulary information must be disclosed to the individual.

Private Health Insurance Resources:

ACS CAN Comments on Massachusetts 1332 Waiver

ACS CAN Comments on Oregon 1332 Waiver

ACS CAN Comments on Iowa 1332 Waiver

ACS CAN Comments on Special Enrollment Period Verification Pilot Program

ACS CAN Comments on Short-Term Policies

ACS CAN Recommendations for Updating the NAIC's Managed Care Plan Network Adequacy Model Act.

ACS CAN Comments on Proposed Changes to Special Enrollment Periods

In a letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), ACS CAN and other organziations provided specific comments to provide greater consumer protections and improvements to  the NAIC's Health Carrier Prescription Drug Benefit Model Act (Formulary Model Act). 

ACS CAN filed comments on the 2017 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, including issues related to Medicare notices, standardized plan option designs, and network adequacy.

Medicare Resources:

ACS CAN filed comments in response to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation's (CMMI's) request for information on specialty practitioner payment model opportunities.  ACS CAN's comments urged CMMI to pay particular attention to the impact various payment policies would have on a beneficiary's access to care.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Tavenner, ACS CAN joined other organizations urging CMS to reqire Medicare Advantage plans to provide coverage for clinical trials.

ACS CAN filed extensive comments in response to CMS' proposed rule implementing changes to the Medicare Part C and D programs, including opposing proposed changes to the Part D six protected classes.

This analysis examines two issues of particular interest to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and its members: the extent of coverage and cost-sharing for cancer drugs, and whether information on the coverage of cancer drugs can be readily obtained, compared, and understood by patients.

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Reducing Health Disparities Resources:

Cancer biomarker testing can lead to targeted therapy which can improve survival and quality of life by connecting patients to the most beneficial treatment for their disease.

Our ability to continue to make progress against cancer relies heavily on eliminating the inequities that exist in the prevention and early detection of cancer. This factsheet explores how health outcomes vary across groups, barriers to cancer screenings, and how ACS CAN is taking action.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), ACS CAN and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) share new ideas for overcoming inequality in oncology. The recommendations address how medical systems in the United States often disproportionately fail minority patients and draws on polling data to help call for urgent action.

Research shows that while overall cancer mortality rates in the U.S. are dropping, populations that have been marginalized are bearing a disproportionate burden of preventable death and disease. Researchers and policymakers need timely collection and publication of demographic data to identify disparities to improve health equity in cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.

Telehealth can help to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or zip code by providing cancer patients with a means of accessing both cancer care and primary care.

Despite notable advances in cancer prevention, screening, and treatment, not all individuals benefit equally from this important progress. This fact sheet provides an overview of current health disparities in cancer care and a snapshot of ACS CAN federal advocacy activities to eliminate these disparities and achieve health equity.

In order to reduce cancer mortality we must fight to achieve health equity, the just and fair opportunity for everyone to prevent, find, treat and survive cancer. This document shows a snapshot of how ACS CAN is fighting for health equity at the national, state and local levels.

Research is critical to understanding and reducing cancer disparities, as well as examining gaps in cancer prevention and care delivery that contribute to these disparities. Clinical trials are a key part of research and enable the development of better drugs and treatments for cancer.

All individuals should have equitable access to quality cancer care and equal opportunity to live a healthy life. Our ability to continue to make progress against cancer relies heavily on eliminating the inequities that exist in cancer care.