On April 10, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) hosted its eighth annual National Forum on the Future of Health Care at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. This year’s forum focused on affordability of cancer care and convened leaders from the private and public sectors, as well as health care experts and policy professionals, to discuss policies to lower health care costs for cancer patients and survivors.
Gary Reedy, CEO of ACS CAN and the American Cancer Society, and ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse kicked off the event with opening remarks on the importance of affordable cancer care. The forum’s keynote speaker, Barbara McAneny, MD, an oncologist and president of the American Medical Association, shared examples of policies that lower health care costs without sacrificing quality of care for patients.
The first panel, ‘Keeping Health Care Affordable,’ included experts from hospitals and health systems who discussed creative approaches they’ve taken to lower costs in cancer care while delivering value to patients. Executives from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Priority Health exchanged ideas with oncologists from MD Anderson Cancer Center and Holy Cross Hospital Cancer Center about developing solutions that address different patient issues throughout the cancer journey.
During the next panel, ‘Medicare, Medicaid and the State Perspective,’ professionals from the public sector, including representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Washington Healthcare Authority, discussed challenges and successes they’ve experienced in providing quality, affordable health care to patients across the country, particularly in rural settings.
The final panel of the day, ‘Considering All of the Costs Cancer Patients Face,’ took a comprehensive look at the indirect costs of cancer care. Senior leaders from Lyft and Extended Stay America shared how their companies have partnered with ACS to implement programs that support patient needs, such as lodging and transportation, at a reduced cost.
To learn more about ACS CAN’s work to ensure access to affordable care for cancer patients, visit fightcancer.org/what-we-do/access-health-care.