The role of the patient navigator continues to evolve in tandem with the healthcare landscape’s emphasis on patient-centered, efficient, coordinated care.
In May 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published proceedings from a workshop held November 13-14, 2017, focused on improving the effectiveness of patient navigation in cancer care. Establishing Effective Patient Navigation Programs in Oncology addressed where patient navigation programs should be deployed in cancer care and which patients should be prioritized to receive navigation services when resources are limited. The workshop also discussed who should serve as navigators, the benefits of navigation, and current gaps in the evidence base. Access the proceedings.
Below are ACCC member-driven resources to help implement, assess, and expand patient navigation services.
Identification of actionable biomarkers continues to drive application of precision medicine in oncology. For patients with lung cancer, molecularly targeted therapies based on expression of specific biomarkers may be potential treatment options. Only through biomarker testing can clinicians discover whether lung cancers have targetable biomarkers.
Despite increasing evidence supporting the role of biomarkers in treatment decision-making for patients with lung cancer, recent studies report that more than 70 percent of patients treated in the community do not receive biomarker testing as recommended by National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) clinical practice guidelines, and more than 50 percent of patients do not receive appropriate precision medicine therapies based on the test results. Among underserved patient populations, the gap is even wider. Analysis of CMS claims data has revealed that Medicaid patients are 40 percent less likely to get tested than patients with private health insurance and Medicaid patients are 30 percent less likely to receive targeted therapies after testing, compared to patients with private health insurance.