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.

Access to Health Care Resources:

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are an integral part of the health care safety-net, providing access to affordable primary care services for nearly 26 million uninsured or underinsured Americans many of whom have cancer. The centers are non-profit, community-directed, and serve high need rural and urban communities that face obstacles to health care, including cost and lack of insurance, as well as geographic and language barriers. FQHCs provide access to quality preventive and primary care services that are critical for cancer patients, survivors, and those who will be diagnosed with cancer.

Since passage of the health care law in 2010 there have been significant changes in health insurance that have protected patients.  This fact sheet provides information on how changes to the health care market have directly affected the United States.

This ACS CAN report focuses specifically on the costs of cancer borne by patients in active treatment as well as survivors.  It examines the factors contributing to the cost of cancer care, the type of direct costs patients pay, and the indirect costs associated with cancer.

Reducing the cancer burden depends on access to meaningful health coverage for all Americans. ACS CAN created an infographic to help illustrate the difference between having access to affordable, adequate coverage and facing barriers to care when facing a cancer diagnosis.

Resources and information from the American Cancer Society about understanding health insurance, particularly for cancer patients and survivors.

The American Cancer Society operates a call center available to all cancer patients and their families, that includes resources and specialists who can help patients with questions about health insurance, enrolling in a plan, and issues accessing care.

ACS CAN, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association released a joint statement providing principles for any entitlement reform proposal.

ACS CAN filed extensive comments expressing deep concern with the proposed Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model and noting that in its proposed form the Part B Drug Model Model failed to protect cancer patients' access to life-saving medications.

On November 10, 2015, ACS CAN hosted the first National Summit on Health Equity in St. Louis, Missouri. The summit brought together over 150 innovative thinkers in public policy, business, technology, academia, patient care, community health, and patient advocacy to examine public policy solutions for assuring greater health equity for cancer patients in the evolving health care system.

Workforce Resources:

These comments submitted to the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education address ways to ensure an adequate and appropriate cancer care workforce to treat cancer patients. These comments address workforce issues in cancer care and also palliative care.

Medicare Resources:

ACS CAN comments on CY2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule

The Medicare program covers 55.3 million people, including 46.3 million who qualify due to age and 9 million people who qualify on the basis of a disability.  Medicare beneficiaries - including many cancer patients and survivors - have access to an outpatient prescription drug benefit that provides them with prescription drugs needed to treat their disease or condition.  This benefit – and keeping it affordable – are crucial to any health care system that works for cancer patients and survivors.

In response to CMS’ calendar year 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, ACS CAN filed comments supporting the proposal to expand the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Model as a new Medicare preventive service because many of the interventions included in the DPP will also help beneficiaries lower their risk of developing cancer.

In response to CMS’ calendar year 2017 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule, ACS CAN filed comments suggesting changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Initiative programs and urged Medicare to develop better survey questions that seek to measure a beneficiary’s experience with pain management. 

ACS CAN, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association released a joint statement providing principles for any entitlement reform proposal.

ACS CAN filed comments on the implementation of the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

ACS CAN filed extensive comments expressing deep concern with the proposed Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model and noting that in its proposed form the Part B Drug Model Model failed to protect cancer patients' access to life-saving medications.

ACS CAN filed comments on the Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for calendar year 2017 for Medicare Advantage  capitation rates, Part C and D payment policies and the 2017 Call Letter.

ACS CAN provided comments on the proposed rule implementing changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program in which we urged CMS to provide additional beneficiary education and require greater specificity on wasy to improve care coordination for beneficiaries.

Disparities Resources:

Despite the fact that US cancer death rates have decreased by 26 percent from 1991 to 2015, not all Americans have benefited equally from the advances in prevention, early detection, and treatments that have helped achieve these lower rates.

On November 10, 2015, ACS CAN hosted the first National Summit on Health Equity in St. Louis, Missouri. The summit brought together over 150 innovative thinkers in public policy, business, technology, academia, patient care, community health, and patient advocacy to examine public policy solutions for assuring greater health equity for cancer patients in the evolving health care system.

Medicaid Resources:

ACS CAN CMS Comments on Maine 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS First Comments on Massachusetts 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS Comments on Arkansas 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS Comments on Wisconsin 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association released a joint statement providing principles for any entitlement reform proposal.

ACS CAN, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association released a joint statement in support of the Medicaid program, noting that any reforms should improve the value of care provided under the program and should not reduce access for Medicaid beneficiaries.

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