Action on many of today’s most pressing public policy issues in oncology are happening at the state and local level. Some of this is because of legislative gridlock at the federal level, although much is due to the enduring notion that healthcare—and particularly cancer care—is best regulated locally.
Today, healthcare policy is among the most hotly debated issues in municipalities across the country. With the U.S. having arguably the most complex healthcare infrastructure in the world, it is easy for state-based organizations to become overwhelmed by the issues facing patients in need.
This is especially the case for the 38 state medical oncology societies across the country, which represent the lion’s share of patients with cancer in the U.S. As they are repeatedly called upon to intercede for the providers and patients they represent, these organizations struggle to prioritize and address the policy issues that deserve the most attention.
To address this issue, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and its Chapter Members from the Oncology State Societies at ACCC will conduct a pilot project to fill information gaps and educational needs at the state and local level. The project will establish a policy communication and learning infrastructure in nine states—Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin—that will address pressing issues that impact patient care and provider access. These will focus on legislative efforts, standards of care, and health equity issues.
The program will assemble oncology leaders to evaluate the different ways in which oncology society members can best enhance cancer care delivery in their states and promote the needs of local practitioners and the patients they serve.
For questions about this project, please contact Stephanie Van Winkle, Executive Director, OSS.
Listen to ACCC's Matt Devino and President of the Empire State Hematology & Oncology Society, Rahul Seth, DO, discuss why every voice is critical in grassroots advocacy efforts on both the federal and state level, and how cancer professionals who moonlight as patient advocates can help improve access to care and reduce financial toxicity for people living with cancer.
Cancer treatment is a rapidly evolving and complex field, which is why state-level advocacy is critical to help legislators understand the nuances of oncology, Learn how state oncology societies have the power to mobilize larger groups of providers across the state to make their voices heard on behalf of their patients—and how you can get involved.