The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), a
national interdisciplinary organization defining quality cancer care, has
launched a public policy websitewww.accc-cancer.org/publicpolicy/dedicated
to the regulatory and legislative issues affecting patients with cancer. The
website was developed to assist in educating patients and their families about
public policy that has an impact on cancer care.
The website is also designed to serve as a tool to bring
patients and physicians together to discuss important cancer issues, such as new
therapeutic modalities, insurance reimbursement, and clinical trials. The site
features information for patients and their families regarding access to cancer
care, and details on oral cancer drugs and the congressional actions affecting
use of such drugs.
"The launch of ACCC’s public policy website comes
at an opportune moment," said Christian G. Downs, JD, MHA,
managing director of provider economics and public policy. New Medicare
regulations, which took effect on January 1, 2002, may drastically cut
reimbursement for cancer therapies in the hospital outpatient setting and
threaten patient access, he noted. "Our hope is that this new Web
destination will raise awareness about this and other critical issues affecting
cancer care. The website offers an opportunity for patients with cancer and
their families to contact their congressional representatives, alerting them to
proposed regulations or legislation that may adversely affect cancer care."
Included in ACCC’s new website is a section on
legislative alerts, general information about Capitol Hill legislators, and tips
for cancer patients and their families on communicating with their
representatives. The site also provides a directory of ACCC member hospitals and
physicians, a list of patient advocacy organizations, and contact information
for representatives and senators.
"By providing patients and families with information about the
public policies that impact cancer care and helping them learn about the
legislative process, they will be able to fully act on their rights and enlist
the government in their personal battle against cancer," said Margaret A.
Riley, MN, RN, CNNA, chair of ACCC’s Ad Hoc Committee for Advocacy.