The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) joined Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and other cancer patient community organizations in supporting increased access to time-sensitive care for children via the bipartisan Accelerating Kids' Access to Care Act.
Children who are on Medicaid and have medically complex conditions must often travel to different states to receive highly specialized care that is not available in their home state. Currently, the process to seek out-of-state medical service is difficult and full of regulatory hurdles, delaying children from receiving the care they need, and in some cases not receiving access to care at all.
Introduced in both the House and Senate, the Accelerating Kids' Access to Care Act would better facilitate access to care across state lines. This bill requires state Medicaid programs to establish a process through which qualifying out-of-state providers may enroll as participating providers without undergoing additional screening requirements.
Among other things, a qualifying provider must (1) serve minors, or adults whose condition began as a minor, and (2) have previously been screened for Medicare participation or for participation in the Medicaid program of the state in which the provider is located.
Even though the majority of AONN+ membership work with the adult population, the AONN+ Policy and Advocacy Committee supports this act as a means for best treatment for children with cancer that requires out-of-state medical care. Delayed access to care without a streamlined screening for out-of-state approval can lead to postponed care and ultimately poorer outcomes.
"Navigation is all about not duplicating work and since no formal process to facilitate a streamlined screening exists among the states, this will save time and money on enrollment requirements," said Sharon Gentry, AONN+ Program Director.
"It also has a time-sensitive element that navigators face daily as they remove barriers for more timely treatment that does improve outcomes in survival. The letter is a reflection on navigation concepts with the ask to coordinate timely specialized care while maintaining a suitable quality of life for the patient."
The Accelerating Kids' Access to Care Act does not address authorization of out-of-state care or any reimbursement issues; the bill only instructs Medicaid to create an opt-in pathway for providers in good standing who are caring for children so they can provide time-sensitive care to kids on Medicaid who need it.
This bipartisan legislation is led by Congressmen Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Jaime Beutler (R-WA), and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Charles Grassley (R-IA).
About the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators, Inc (http://www.aonnonline.org):
The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators, Inc (AONN+), is the largest national specialty organization dedicated to improving patient care and quality of life by defining, enhancing, and promoting the role of oncology nurse and patient navigators. The organization, which has more than 8900 members, was founded in 2009 to provide a network for all professionals involved and interested in patient navigation and survivorship care services in order to better manage the complexities of the cancer treatment process.
About The Lynx Group (http://www.thelynxgroup.com):
The Lynx Group (TLG) is a premier medical communications and education company acutely focused on oncology and rare disease states. TLG specializes in market access to and with advanced practice providers, patients, and their caregivers. With more than 100 years of combined senior leadership experience, TLG continually creates award-winning medical education and cultivates strong relationships within proprietary brands serving patients and their caregivers, physicians, payers, nurses, pharmacists, navigators, and practice managers.
TLG has broad and deep experience in crafting custom, award-winning solutions for life science and biotech companies. Currently, TLG partners with more than 50 of the top pharma and biotech companies globally. TLG proudly serves as co-founder and association management company of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) and the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC).
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