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Navigation training and credentialing program wraps up pilot phase

Newly named ACS LION program preparing to launch in January.​

The American Cancer Society recently wrapped up a successful pilot of its new patient navigation curriculum and credentialing program for non-clinical navigation, which is scheduled to officially launch on Jan. 1, 2024. The pilot included more than 90 people across the country who provide navigation services in a wide variety of settings.

The new program is designed to ensure the nation’s professional navigators are receiving high-quality training that supports advancement and sustainability of the profession, resulting in comprehensive care for people with cancer and their families. It recently also got an official name, christened the ACS Leadership in Oncology Navigation or ACS LION program.

Participants reported that the program information was helpful, it directly applied to their role, it enhanced their professional experience, and they would recommend the program to others. Importantly, the program significantly increased participants’ self-reported comprehension of navigation competencies the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires for principal illness navigation (PIN) billing. (Changes this year to the CMS Physician Fee Schedule are offering professional non-clinical navigators a sustainable way to get reimbursed for the critical services they provide.)    

“This training showed me how much ACS really ‘gets’ the myriad ways cancer affects patients and communities and works to offer support at all levels,” one program participant said.

Another participant said, “The lessons were well organized. I have been in the role of a patient navigator, and it helped me to rethink some of my approaches with patients. I appreciated the practical tools.”

As the program officially launches in January, dissemination efforts will include webinars with evolving case studies to meet various needs and topics, learning collaboratives, toolkits to support implementation, and Patient Support team member presence at conferences and events to help promote the program.

What you can do 

How can ACS team members and volunteers help support this new ACS navigation training and credentialing program?

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