Navigation Links
The Community Oncology Alliance Responds to President Obama's Press Conference Comments Regarding Cancer Patients
Date:7/23/2009

WASHINGTON, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Community Oncology Alliance (COA), a national non-profit organization of oncologists that advocates for cancer patients and community providers of cancer care, has responded in a public statement to President Obama's press conference, saying:

"We strongly support President Obama's guiding principle that health care reform must 'build on what works and fix what is broken.' Unfortunately, that is the exact opposite of what is happening with our country's cancer care delivery system. The problem is that the Medicare payment system for cancer care is simply broken. The system has chipped away for years and our cancer care delivery system is now in crisis. Though it urgently needs to be fixed, we pray that reform is not forced through to meet a schedule, but thought through to meet the needs of covering costs to save the lives of cancer patients.

"In last night's press conference, President Obama mentioned the plight of cancer patients. As the doctors who treat 84% of cancer patients in their own communities, we feel compelled to respond with the hope that even greater focus will be put on cancer as 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women can expect to get cancer in their lifetimes.

"As of right now, 45% of all cancer patients are covered by Medicare and yet Medicare does not reimburse oncologists for the full cost of many drugs to treat patients, and does not reimburse at all for essential services including cancer treatment planning and care coordination. In a recent national survey we commissioned of over 1,000 Americans, we learned that less than half (45%) of Americans believe their health insurance plans would cover the full cost of cancer treatment, including diagnosis, doctor visits, tests and medication, and only 25% of Americans believe that a person covered under Medicare would be covered, while 64% believe Medicare would not cover the cost of treatment.

"Today most community oncologists around the country are paying out of pocket to treat their Medicare patients. Additionally, over the past few years, Medicare has consistently cut payments for cancer patients and this is slowly dismantling the country's treatment system. Even now CMS is pursuing a course of action, based on insufficient and inaccurate data, which will further severely cut payments for cancer care. Physicians cannot continue to shoulder these losses.

"Additional cuts now planned by CMS are simply unrealistic: they will accelerate the erosion of the nation's cancer care delivery system. In reforming our country's healthcare system, if a 'public' insurance option is created based on Medicare -- or even 5-10% above Medicare rates -- and results in private insurers lowering their payments accordingly, practices simply would have to close their doors. This is borne out by modeling work recently completed by several large practices.

"We call on President Obama, who used examples of cancer patients in his comments, to consider the incredible hurdles facing both today's cancer patients and doctors in treating cancer.

"Dr. Robert Fein, a medical oncologist practicing in Somerset, New Jersey, stated it best in an editorial he penned recently for the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

'As we reform health care, we must address the plight of cancer patients... Just as I would treat a sick patient, we must fix a broken system, starting with Medicare.'

"We have heard the President's request to the medical community to help shoulder a portion of the price for health care reform. Community oncology practices have already contributed more than their share by enduring Medicare payment cuts in excess of 25% over the past 5-6 years.

"Despite these challenges, we are committed to being a part of the solution. Over this past year, COA convened a task force of practicing oncologists to analyze Best Practices for improving the quality of cancer care while controlling costs, which can also be implemented without major infrastructure changes.

"The result of that effort is embodied in legislation that was recently introduced in the Congress by Representatives Artur Davis, Steve Israel, and Mary Jo Kilroy -- the Medicare Quality Cancer Care Demonstration Project Act of 2009 (H.R. 2872). This bill would create a national cancer care demonstration project, open to all oncology clinics, which would refine quality metrics dealing with recognized, evidence-based treatment guidelines and patient-centric, coordinated care. The demonstration project would include the active involvement of community cancer clinics already using electronic medical records, bringing information to augment data collected by the Medicare system. This is a real-life application of health information technology, and the type of public-private collaborative effort that will be necessary to reform the health care system.

"The United States has the best overall cancer care in the world as documented by five-year survival rates -- a true measure of performance. The success is due in large part to earlier detection, more precisely targeted therapies, and unparalleled access to quality, compassionate cancer care. During the past 25 years, cancer care in this country has evolved away from long stays at hospitals for chemotherapy treatments, to the outpatient, community setting. Along with advances in medicine, it is this system that is hailed as one of the best, and the smartest, in the world.

"With all of our success, cancer is still the second leading cause of death in this country, claiming on average the life of one American every minute.

"COA pledges that cancer clinics across the country will work together to increase the quality of cancer care while controlling costs; however, we need President Obama's leadership to help overcome the immediate crisis that is now destroying what has worked so well for our patients. Our ability to treat the current and future generations of Americans battling cancer hangs in the balance."

More information can be found on the COA web site at www.communityoncology.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE The Community Oncology Alliance
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Internationally Renowned Surgeon Reaches out to RNC, Hispanic Community
2. Community Hospitals: Dying Breed or Community Cornerstone?
3. JACQUES Initiative Joins Maryland AIDS Administration to Extend HIV Testing to the Faith-Based Community
4. JACQUES Initiative Joins Maryland AIDS Administration to Extend HIV Testing to the Faith-Based Community
5. Top Obama administration officials to hold rural health community forum
6. American Health Assistance Foundation & Asbury Methodist Village to Host Special Community Screenings and Discussion of HBO Series The Alzheimers Project
7. Leading Senior Care Destination TheCaringSpace.com Launches ElderCare Library and Care Community
8. BurrellesLuce White Paper Gives Advice on Turning Twitter Connections Into Community Building Blocks
9. More Cuts to Hospice Announced: Hospice Community Responds with Virtual Lobby Day on July 15
10. El Camino Hospital Los Gatos Celebrates Opening With the Community
11. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Awards $1.4 Million to 14 Community Initiatives in Chicago and Downstate
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can ... inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of their ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics to ... technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star ... , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered ... both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand ... new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is ... The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any ... the many challenges of the current process. Many of them ... because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. ... have to offer it at such a high cost that ... afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Issue 52" report to their offering. ... treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. ... base that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective ... serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: