Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Membership and Public Relations
301.984.9496 ext. 226
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Feb 01, 2016
ROCKVILLE, Md. – The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is developing an optimal care coordination model to serve Medicaid patients with lung cancer, focused on building effective partnerships among community organizations, patients, and primary care and specialty providers. The work is supported by a three-year, $4.1 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Specialty Care for Vulnerable Populations initiative, which supports projects that strengthen and improve the quality of specialty care services for underserved populations living with lung cancer, skin cancer, or HIV.
“Obstacles to the full continuum of lung cancer screening, treatment and care, especially for minority and underserved populations, often result in patients receiving a late-stage diagnosis, which dramatically reduces their chances for survival,” says John Damonti, President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Given that the smoking rate among Medicaid patients is nearly twice that of the general population at 37%, we are pleased to support ACCC as it seeks to develop an innovative care model that specifically addresses the obstacles that these patients face in accessing and completing high quality cancer care.”
The grant will help ACCC develop a collaborative approach to improving lung cancer care for Medicaid patients. ACCC will develop the Optimal Care Coordination Model to engage ACCC member cancer programs and practices, community health centers, patient advocacy organizations, health system leadership, payers, and policymakers, to strengthen lung cancer systems of care and improve outcomes for Medicaid patients by expanding access to and utilization of care.
While developing optimal treatment models for all cancer patients is challenging, the burden of disease is greatest for Medicaid patients, creating unique care coordination challenges. Studies have shown that patients with lung cancer covered by Medicaid had poorer outcomes, including higher incidence rates, diagnosis at later stage, and poorer survival rates, even after adjustment for stage of diagnoses.
“ACCC is excited to lead the charge for improved health equity in lung cancer treatment through this collaboration with BMSF,” said Christian Downs, JD, MHA, Executive Director of ACCC. “We have the opportunity to bring ACCC membership’s unmatched expertise in treating cancer at the community level to improve health outcomes for some of our country’s most vulnerable patients through a new care coordination model that could be adapted for other areas of cancer care.”
After identifying the specific challenges that patients covered by Medicaid experience in accessing the healthcare system, ACCC will use the available evidence to develop a new care coordination model that can be used to streamline and improve patient care. With 65 percent of cancer patients in the U.S. now being treated in the community setting, this project has the potential to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities not only in lung cancer, but also in other disease states.