The Journey Forward program and H.R. 2477, the Planning Actively for Cancer Treatment (PACT) Act, two of NCCS’ top priorities, are highlighted in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. The Journey Forward program is a combined effort of NCCS, WellPoint, Inc., the UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center, Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and Genentech, that promotes the use of treatment summaries and follow-up plans that give clear steps for care and monitoring after active cancer treatment. A recent major barrier to the creation of survivorship care plans was eliminated due to the successful integration of patient data directly from cancer registry software into the Journey Forward software. The PACT Act would significantly improve the quality and coordination of care for Medicare patients with cancer. Research has confirmed that coordinated cancer care outlined in a written care plan — care that integrates active treatment and symptom management — improves patient outcomes, increases patient satisfaction, and reduces utilization of health care resources. The PACT Act would guarantee Medicare beneficiaries a new service that would encourage doctors to create a written care plan and to discuss and alter the plan based on shared decisions made with the patient’s active involvement. It would also benefit patients who have finished treatment by providing a written summary of care the patient received and information about monitoring and follow-up support.
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