Bill Aims to Address Ongoing Survivorship Care Needs
January 2023 - With the start of a new congress, all legislation that didn't pass last year needs to be reintroduced. Stay tuned for updates on this legislation in the coming months...
Many cancer patients, survivors and thrivers experience a disjointed system as they transition from diagnosis to active treatment to more routine care. Introduced on December 14, the Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship Act (CCSA) aims to address these gaps in survivorship car. FORCE was pleased to contribute to this sweeping legislation that will establish new standards of care in an effort to ensure the best and most seamless experience for survivors, their families, and caregivers, throughout the survivorship journey, from diagnosis to end of life.
Sponsored by U.S. Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), the CCSA’s key pillars include:
- Care Planning and Transition: Provides coverage to address the transition from treatment to primary care, facilitating the development of personalized care plans, guiding survivorship monitoring and follow-up care;
- Navigation: Develops comprehensive navigation services that emphasize the continuum of care, such as follow-up screening for recurrence or new cancers, psychosocial assistance, and addressing health disparities or determinants, like food insecurity, housing, transportation, telehealth access, and childcare;
- Quality of Care: Creates grants to encourage the use of navigation and care plans, exploration of at-home care, and better use of information technology to collect patient experience data;
- Employment/Workforce: Establishes assistance grants to help survivors, their families, and caregivers when faced with a range of challenges such as reduced working hours and treatment-related unemployment;
- Fertility Preservation: Provides Medicaid coverage of fertility preservation services for those diagnosed with cancer.
- Education/Awareness: Creates resources for survivors and healthcare professionals regarding early detection, preventive and high-quality survivorship care;
- Payment Model: Studies the existing coverage and reimbursement landscape to develop an alternative payment model to ensure a coordinated approach to survivorship care.
“Cancer has a lasting impact—physical, social, emotional, and financial—on the affected individual and their family. Improved screening, early detection, and therapies allow us to save more lives than ever before so understanding the needs of cancer survivors and helping them successfully navigate life after cancer is crucial. This legislation will pave the way for survivors to have better quality of life, providing guidance to address short- and long-term treatment effects, and an evidence-based plan that includes screening for recurrence, new cancers, and other complications,” Lisa Schlager, Vice President, Public Policy, FORCE.
At a press conference regarding this legislation, Representative Wasserman Schultz acknowledged the challenging work that lies ahead and called on all members of the cancer community to lend their voices to this collective effort. FORCE looks forward to working with advocates and Members of Congress to advance this effort to improve the quality of life and care for survivors.
8/14/2023 - Joined stakeholders in a letter to the American College of Physicians expressing disappointment with the preventive colorectal cancer screening guidance it published, which conflicts with recommendations provided by the USPSTF, NCCRT, ACS, NCCN and other reputable organizations.
7/21/2023 - Wrote House and Senate leadership, expressing support for increased funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in its staffing and administrative support of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) as part of the FY24 appropriations bill.
6/7/2023 - Joined physicians and patient advocacy groups to support California AB 632, which will allow patients to receive prostate cancer screening without a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance for prostate cancer screening, including men over the age of 40 who are at high risk for prostate cancer.