FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jan 27, 2021
It is estimated that 66% of rural counties in America have no oncologist and 32 million Americans live in counties without an oncologist. With an aging population and the recent downturn in cancer screening due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people diagnosed with cancer is expected to increase over the next decade.
Advanced Practitioners (APs), defined by the Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO), include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and pharmacists. These individuals work with their physician colleagues to provide safe, cost effective care. APs improve practice workflow and efficiency, enabling physicians to care for more patients and focus on those who need complex care. Patient satisfaction remains high among patients who see interdisciplinary teams who can provide specialized care.
This interdisciplinary approach to cancer care increases cancer programs and practices ability to meet community cancer needs, especially in rural and underserved areas where access to care continues to be difficult. Optimizing models of care that include APs as team members who can practice at the full scope of their license strengthens the ability of a practice to provide multidisciplinary, comprehensive care to more individuals.
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is a community of more than 25,000 multidisciplinary practitioners and 2,100 cancer programs and practices nationwide. ACCC supports interdisciplinary models of care that include expanding access to cancer care, increasing the quality of cancer care provided, and strengthening the specialized workforce needed to manage the ever-increasing complexity of cancer care. Holistic quality cancer care requires access to healthcare professionals across specialties with an understanding of how cancer and cancer treatments affect physical and psychosocial functioning. ACCC understands the value Advanced Practitioners add to oncology care and believes they are essential to the oncology workforce in the United States. ACCC continues to support the oncology workforce and support multidisciplinary oncology care.
If you have any questions about our statement or would like to discuss in further detail, please contact Kristin M. Ferguson, ACCC Senior Director, Cancer Care Delivery & Health Policy, at 301.798.6463 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org