by Amanda Conschafter, blog editor
Even the gravity of a life-threatening illness may not ensure cancer patients’ access to vital medications, AfPA’s recently released policy video explains. In “Protecting Cancer Care,” AfPA Chairman David Charles, MD, pinpoints the three primary challenges to oncology therapy access:
- Excessive cost-sharing required by specialty tier structures
- Prolonged prior authorization processes that delay access
- Lack of parity for different forms of cancer treatment.
The video, based upon IfPA’s white paper of the same title, explains that fairer, more transparent insurance practices could improve access to life-saving care.
Dr. Charles notes that, under current conditions, some patients “are forced to make life-and-death decisions based on what they can pay out of pocket.” But straightforward, easily accessible language about patients’ cost-sharing requirements could help avoid such scenarios.
The video also cites the importance of streamlining prior authorization processes. Requiring prompt approval decisions and electronic authorizations can expedite the process so it doesn’t hamper patient access to vital medications.
To address the need for parity, “Protecting Cancer Care” explains, insurers should provide equitable coverage for both infusion and oral chemotherapy treatments. This way, patients can receive whichever form of treatment their physician deems best.
Watch “Protecting Cancer Care ” to learn more about impediments to oncology care – and how more transparent insurance practices could improve patient access to life-saving therapies.