Association of Community Cancer Centers Launches Financial Advocacy Boot Camp in Response to Catastrophic Cancer Costs

Published: Monday, Jul 31, 2017

The cost of cancer care continues to be a top concern for patients and their healthcare providers. In response, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has launched The Financial Advocacy Boot Camp, the first free online training program designed for all those who work to assist cancer patients in navigating financial issues related to their cancer treatment.

As a just-released report, The Costs of Cancer: Addressing Patient Costs, from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network makes clear, “Not only does cancer take an enormous toll on the health of patients and survivors—it also has a tremendous financial impact. For patients and their families, the costs associated with direct cancer care are staggering.” The challenges patients face in dealing with the rising cost of care is also highlighted in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2017 State of Cancer Care in America report, which notes that “Even among patients with health insurance, a cancer diagnosis can be financially catastrophic.” Financial advocates have become vital members of today’s cancer care team, playing a critical role in helping patients access treatment and understand the costs of care, and working to reduce the potential for financial toxicity as a side effect of cancer. Due to the evolving and increasing complex healthcare coverage landscape, financial advocates have an ongoing need for training, information, and resources.

“A cancer diagnosis is a stressful and life altering event. Financial advocates can help by playing a key role in alleviating the added financial stress of a cancer diagnosis. ACCC’s Financial Advocacy Boot Camp training will help these professionals keep up with the ever-changing landscape and tools to best help the patients they work with,” said Mark S. Soberman, MD, MBA, FACS, ACCC President and Medical Director, Oncology Service Line and Chief Physician Executive, Monocacy Health Partners at Frederick Regional Health System.

Developed by expert, experienced oncology financial advocates, this comprehensive online program covers five domain areas:

Financial Advocacy Fundamentals

Enhancing Communication

Improving Insurance Coverage

Maximizing External Assistance

Developing and Improving Financial Advocacy Programs and Services.

Steven Ackerman, Patient Support Coordinator, Kadlec Clinic Hematology & Oncology in Kennewick, WA, recently completed the program. “I feel the Financial Advocacy Boot Camp is the most comprehensive and useful training method for both new and seasoned financial advocates. It is a crucial tool in the new field of financial advocacy and the ever-changing healthcare system.”

“As a newcomer to oncology, financial navigation can feel like a daunting task. I was relieved to find this Boot Camp! Now, I am more confident that I can help my patients make informed choices to ease their financial stress,” said Joanita Miranda, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.

About the Financial Advocacy Boot Camp

The Financial Advocacy Boot Camp is designed for financial advocates, nurses, nurse and patient navigators, social workers, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, medical coders, administrative staff, cancer program administrators, and other healthcare professionals involved in financial advocacy for patients with cancer. Learn more.

The Financial Advocacy Boot Camp is the newest resource from the ACCC Financial Advocacy Network. Established in 2012, the Financial Advocacy Network provides needed resources to help expand the skills and knowledge base of oncology care team members who deal directly with patients on complex financial issues surrounding their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

About the Association of Community Cancer Centers

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is the leading advocacy and education organization for the multidisciplinary cancer care team. More than 23,000 cancer care professionals from over 2,000 hospitals and practices nationwide are affiliated with ACCC. It is estimated that 65 percent of the nation's cancer patients are treated by a member of ACCC. Providing a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, ACCC is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the entire oncology care team. Our members include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, senior hospital executives, practice managers, pharmacists, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, social workers, and cancer program data managers. For more information, visit ACCC's website at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and read our blog, ACCCBuzz.

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