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As the cancer care landscape changes and treatment costs continue to rise, many cancer programs are revisiting their financial advocacy services. More than just adding financial advocates to their staff, cancer programs are integrating their financial services into their continuum of care to ensure patients have adequate access to the treatments they require. This two-part blog explores the ACCC Financial Advocacy Learning Lab held at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
The ACCC Financial Advocacy Network recently traveled to three member programs to conduct customized Learning Labs to explore strategies that can better integrate financial services for patients. Established in 2012, the ACCC Financial Advocacy Network provides tools, resources, and training to help member programs and practices proactively address their patients’ financial concerns.
In December 2018, ACCC brought a Learning Lab to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) in Nashville, Tenn., a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. VICC is home to a team of more than 200 physicians who provide care to more than 7,000 new cancer patients each year, and it provides financial advocacy services to more than 40 patients per week.
The Learning Lab in Action
Nearly 30 members from VICC participated in the Learning Lab, including stakeholders from research and clinical trials, pharmacy, nursing, patient care services, finance, business, administration, patient navigators and financial counselors.
Before the half-day Learning Lab, VICC participants identified three main barriers they say hinder them from providing optimal financial advocacy services to all patients who need it:
During discussions held at the Learning Lab, participants reviewed VICC’s baseline financial advocacy data and discussed the cancer center’s current financial advocacy practices. They identified gaps and barriers and developed a process improvement plan to address these issues. Learning Lab participants determined the need to:
Three months after VICC’s Financial Advocacy Network Learning Lab, participants met with stakeholders and leadership to report on their efforts to take a more proactive approach to financial advocacy. Learn what they accomplished in our next blog post.