American Society of Clinical Oncology Policy Statement: Opportunities in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to Reduce Cancer Care Disparities

Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St, LRH-308, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 17.88). 08/2011; 29(28):3816-24. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2011.35.8903
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Patients in specific vulnerable population groups suffer disproportionately from cancer. The elimination of cancer disparities is critically important for lessening the burden of cancer. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides both opportunities and challenges for addressing cancer care disparities and access to care. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) advocates for policies that ensure access to cancer care for the underserved. Such policies include insurance reform and the reduction of economic barriers to quality health care. Building on ASCO's prior statement on disparities in cancer care (2009), this article summarizes elements of the health care law that are relevant to cancer disparities and provides recommendations for addressing major provisions in the law. It outlines specific strategies to address insurance reform, access to care, quality of care, prevention and wellness, research on health care disparities, and diversity in the health care workforce. ASCO is committed to leading efforts toward the improvement of cancer care among the most vulnerable patients.

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