This bill would improve the quality and coordination of cancer care for Medicare beneficiaries by providing coverage for health providers and patients to jointly develop a cancer care treatment plan that addresses both treatment and symptom management. This is critical for patient awareness, but also to better coordinate care among the many specialists often involved in a patient’s cancer treatment.
Most cancer patients currently do not receive a written plan that explains their diagnosis, prognosis, treatments, and expected symptoms, leaving them to navigate the complexities of a cancer diagnosis without clear direction or knowing what to expect from their care. This can affect the physical and emotional well-being of patients, as well as increase costs due to fragmented care.
“More than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2013, and almost 14 million Americans have a history of cancer. And while many of those newly diagnosed and those living with cancer will receive the best that the American health care system has to offer, even those receiving outstanding care report gaps in the cancer care system. The PACT Act would fill many of those gaps by allowing the patient and his or her care team to develop a roadmap for a patient starting the difficult journey that begins with a cancer diagnosis,” said Capps.
“Each year, more American lives are affected by the disease known as cancer. Unfortunately, cancer treatment plans vary among health care providers. The PACT Act assures gaps in the cancer care system are closed in order to provide better care and assistance to cancer patients,” said Boustany.
The incorporation of cancer care planning and coordination in the cancer care system has been recommended by the Institute of Medicine in a series of reports over the last decade. Moreover, research has shown 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 has been endorsed by:
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Cancer Support Community
Colon Cancer Alliance
Fight Colorectal Cancer
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Life Raft Group
Lymphoma Research Foundation
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
National Comprehensive Cancer Network
National Lung Cancer Partnership
Susan G. Komen Advocacy Alliance
ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association
University of Arizona Cancer Center
University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University
The GW Cancer Institute, George Washington University
University of Kansas Cancer Center
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
University of New Mexico Cancer Center
NYU Cancer Institute
NYU Langone Medical Center
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma