|What Caught Our Eye (WCOE) Each week, we take a closer look at the cancer policy articles, studies, and stories that caught our attention.
Oncology Times reported on a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) workshop, “Ensuring Patient Access to Cancer Drugs.” NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso was a panelist at the workshop and provided the patient perspective on access to cancer drugs and communicating with patients about the cost of treatment. She reflected on the concerning trends in the cancer care system that result in barriers to access to care for patients. She also noted that the current reimbursement system does not value what matters to patients – the time spent with their physician and care team. The Institute of Medicine has posted videos from the workshop.
A report by KQED in California looked at a pre-hospice program offered for patients with multiple chronic conditions. The program is for patients who do not qualify for hospice, yet need assistance managing their health. Unfortunately, in our current fee-for-service payment environment, the services provided are not reimbursable. And services that keep people out of the hospital mean lost revenue for hospital systems. Yet the services would help patients maintain quality of life and comfort. It is unfortunate that our current system and incentives focus on volume, rather than patients’ health and well-being.