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:

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.

These comments were submitted by ACS CAN to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding changes to the template Summary Plan Document that health insurance plans must provide to consumers.

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.

ACS CAN filed comments supporting the Internal Revenue Services' proposed clarification requiring plans to provide coverage for physician services and inpatient hospitalization in order to qualify as minimum value coverage. 

ACS CAN filed comments on the Medicare CY2016 Physician Fee Schedule, supporting CMS' proposals to establish a separate payment for collaborative care services and provide reimbursement for advanced care planning services.

This paper explores from a cancer patient’s perspective the adequacy of provider networks, the transparency of provider network information for the new qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in the Marketplace and the availability of out-of-network coverage.

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.

Private Health Insurance Resources:

Information about prescription drug formularies

It is critically important for cancer patients to be able to access clear, consistent, and comparable information on prescription drug coverage, including coverage of physician-administered drugs, in order to choose a health plan. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such information was not widely available, but various ACA provisions aim to improve the comprehensiveness, comparability, and transparency of health plan benefits.

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.

Utilization management is a collection of treatment review and cost reduction techniques used by health insurers and health plans. Health plans frequently employ utilization management techniques in their prescription drug benefit, particularly for high-cost specialty medications.

ACS CAN filed comments to the Department of HHS on the proposed rule regarding data collection and support standards related to the collection of data for Essential Health Benefits.

In a letter to President Obama, ACS CAN and other consumer groups urged the Adminstration to promptly, effectively, and fully implement the Summary of Benefits and Coverage rule.

In a letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius, ACS CAN and other organizations urged HHS to provide additional specific information on proposed state benchmark plans.

In a letter to Congress, ACS CAN and other organizations urged the rejection of legislation that would undermine the critical consumer benefits provided by the ACA's minimum loss ration requirements.

In a letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius, ACS CAN and other organizations offered specific principles to HHS as it developed its Essential Health Benefits requirements.

Medicare Resources:

ACS CAN commented on the Medicare CY2015 Physician Fee Schedule, in which we urged, among other things for CMS to designate screeming colonoscopioes that resule in polyp removal or biopsy as a preventive service.  We also commented on the proposed provisions related to the Chronic Care Management code.

ACS CAN commented in the FY2015 Medicare Hospice payment rule.

ACS CAN commented in the FY2015 Medicare Hospice payment rule, in which we urged, among other things, for Medicare to develop a workable solution to better clarify when a prescription drug is covered under the Hospice or Part D benefit.

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.

ACS CAN commented on CMS' Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) proposed rule. Our comments offered specific recommendations to improve the ACO program to better serve the needs of cancer patients and survivors.

Cancer patients and others who may suffer from multiple chronic conditions or long-term side effects from treatment would benefit from payment reform in Medicare.

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.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are the foundation of our national cancer research program and support research in every state. Today, that program is making remarkable progress in every area of discovery to improve cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and care.

Health Care Delivery Resources:

Provides information about enrolling in Medicare, including Part D prescription drug coverage, what Medicare covers, and how to contact Medicare with questions

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 comments on 2015 Edition EHR Standards and Certification Criteria Proposed Rule

ACS CAN comments on Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program – Stage 3 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

ACS CAN Comments on ASCO's Proposed Value Framework

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.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded access to health insurance through reforms of the private health insurance market, including income-related premium support and cost-sharing subsidies and establishment of Health Insurance Marketplaces.

A comprehensive plan to address all barriers is necessary to make prevention a national priority.

Medicaid Resources:

ACS CAN CMS Comments on Michigan's 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS Comments on Alabama's 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS Comments on Kansas 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS Comments on North Carolina 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS Comments on New Hampshire 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS Comments on Massachusetts 1115 Demonstration Waiver

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is an integral part of the safety-net for lower-income children and their families. CHIP provides access to quality, affordable, and comprehensive health care coverage to nearly nine million lower income children up to age 19 in the U.S. – many of whom have been affected by cancer.

ACS CAN CMS Comments on Maine 1115 Demonstration Waiver

ACS CAN CMS First Comments on Massachusetts 1115 Demonstration Waiver