If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other type of cancer, you know it is a life-changing experience. The physical effects of the disease and its treatment can be traumatic, as well as the emotional effects.
It’s hard for patients and their loved ones to know exactly what to do, what to expect and who to turn to for help, but now a pair of congressmen in the House of Representatives are working together towards a solution.
Both Democrat Mark DeSaulnier of California nor Republican Ted Poe of Texas are cancer survivors though neither was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and they count mesothelioma victims among their constituents.
The two have introduced H.R. 5160, called the Cancer Care Planning and Communications (CCPC) Act which will make it easier for Medicare patients to have resources to make cancer care plans.
The program would create a billing code that would provide health care facilities and providers who expend resources to provide these cancer care plans with a way for them to seek and get reimbursement.
Currently facilities are able to bill for the actual time spent with patients, but not for the time that goes into creating these important, individual plans. The plans, which give patients a picture of what their treatment plan will be, what it entails, what the downsides and side effects are, are valuable for patients.
According to Shelley Fuld Nasso, CEO of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, mesothelioma patients and others with cancer get great benefit from these care plans.
“I see it almost as a patient passport that you can have and bring back to your primary care physician, or if you move to another location or get another late effect and have to see another oncologist. All the critical information is there.”
Studies have shown that a carefully crafted care plan not only empowers the patients, but actually improves outcomes.
According to Donald L. Trump, M.D. FACO, CEO and Executive Director of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Virginia,
“This data show clearly that personalized and coordinated care leads to better outcomes – including longer survival. Cancer care is more complicated – and successful; it is critical that physicians and patients be full partners in their treatment, that the overall plan of treatment and post-treatment care be fully developed and communicated. That’s what the Cancer Care Planning and Communications Act is promoting.”
If you are a mesothelioma patient who needs information on the resources available to you, we can help. Call the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608 today.