publication date: Apr. 21, 2017

NCCN survey:  AHCA would impede overall access to cancer treatment

The American Health Care Act would have a negative impact on affordability and patient access to cancer screening and treatment, according to a survey conducted by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Although the Trump administration and congressional Republican leaders failed to garner sufficient support to pass the AHCA, concerns about access to cancer screening, care, and research funding remain, said Robert Carlson, CEO of NCCN.

“Today, patients are in limbo, not knowing what action the federal and state governments will take,” Carlson said in a statement April 19. “NCCN agrees there are ways to improve the current health care system for Americans with cancer, the clinical professionals who care for them, and payers.

“However, we are concerned for Americans with cancer that affordability, coverage of products and services in cancer treatment, and overall access will be impeded by allowing health insurers to set their own rates, or by providing states the ability to experiment with Medicaid coverage, without appropriate patient protections.”

The survey was conducted during the period of congressional debate over the AHCA, which was withdrawn the afternoon of March 24 when it became clear there were not enough votes to pass the legislation. Responding to the survey were 76 oncology professionals, including physicians, academic and community; nurses; physician assistants; pharmacists; industry professionals; payers and patient advocates.

A majority of respondents believed that anticipated health policy changes would have negative impacts on their practices and on cancer research. More than 70 percent of those surveyed noted that patients have voiced concern about the anticipated repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, nearly two-thirds of whom have demonstrated … Continue reading NCCN survey: AHCA would impede overall access to cancer treatment

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