Putting Patients’ Experiences into Perspective
At the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (The Center), our staff members understand the difficulties of a cancer diagnosis and the barriers to care because some have experienced it themselves.
When Jennifer Sassano, RN, director of clinical operations, received her cancer diagnosis, it put our patients’ daily challenges into perspective. Being denied a scan and forced to pay out-of-pocket to implement her care plan, she knew some of our patients were experiencing similar types of challenges. Her experiences fueled constructive conversations about the importance of patients being intimately involved in their care plan and financial decision-making.
Insurers and pharmacy benefit managers are not licensed physicians, yet plenty of our patients are denied coverage for medically necessary treatments. Center staff actively work with insurers to explain why care is needed and must be covered. The Center staff works hard to overturn coverage denials. Sharing anecdotes about our work for patients at our CPAN chapter’s meetings, the Center offers insights other oncology practices might use in their community. When local oncology practices share learnings about solutions to common cancer care challenges, patients benefit.