Tag Archive for: financial support

Accessing Financial Resources for Lung Cancer Care

Accessing Financial Resources for Lung Cancer Care from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Is there financial support for patients that need assistance with the cost of lung cancer care? Dr. Erin Schenk shares advice and resources available to help alleviate the financial burden that some patients and care partners may experience.

Dr. Erin Schenk is a medical oncologist, lung cancer researcher, and assistant professor in the division of medical oncology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. Learn more about Dr. Schenk.

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Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

You know, one thing patients are often concerned about is the financial aspect, the financial burden that is involved in their treatment care. How do they deal with that? Are there resources available for them? 

Dr. Erin Schenk:

There can be and this definitely can vary based on what treatment you’re being given and where you are, at what institution and what state you’re being treated at since resources are different. But for example, the targeted therapies or the TKIs I made reference to earlier, those can have some significant out-of-pocket costs and most of the,  if not all of the manufacturers of those various TKIs have patient assistance programs that help to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for those specific medicines.  

When I prescribe a TKI for a patient often what’s part of that is a prior authorization to try to understand what’s the out-of-pocket cost for the patient and then kind of get on top of whether or not we need to apply for patient assistance to help pay for the cost of that medication. So, that’s one way that we can help. 

I think, in again, this is specific to my institution and our clinical practice, but we often have – we work very closely with other cancer doctors in the community. So, if traveling to our site is a major burden we can usually have them visit with a oncologist who’s close to them so there’s less travel, there’s less costs in you know gas and staying somewhere. But they still can be connected with us. So, while they can get most of their care under a doctor that’s closer to them, every so often they come back and see me and just talk about how things are going and what you know might be worthwhile to consider down the road.  

And I would also recommend that if there are other costs or concerns you know, kind of above and beyond these things that we’ve touched on, connecting with a social worker through the cancer center can be helpful in dealing with paperwork for disability or retirement or sometimes connecting to resources if there’s a childcare need. 

Or you’re caring for a spouse and you need additional help at home. You know all of the different burdens that are present in life that just get magnified with a cancer diagnosis and you know, we can – there’s usually a really big attempt to try to find a way to help figure out navigating those so that you can get the care you need.

How to Access Myeloma Financial Resources

How to Access Myeloma Financial Resources from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

If you need help paying for myeloma care, where do you start? Yu Mee Song, an oncology social worker, reviews several resources, including copay assistance programs and advocacy groups.

Yu Mee Song, LCSW, OSW-C is a Social Work Program Coordinator at the Center of Excellence for Multiple Myeloma Program at Mount Sinai Hospital. Learn more about Yu Mee Song.

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Is There Financial Assistance for Myeloma Patients

Is There Financial Assistance for Myeloma Patients?

Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

Yu Mee, many of the newer myeloma therapies can be quite costly. If a patient is seeking financial support, where would you suggest they start? 

Yu Mee Song:

Many of the pharmaceutical companies provide financial assistance  if you meet their eligibility criteria.   

So, you can start there with – with the help of your oncology social worker. There are other great organizations that provide a significant  copay assistance and also  reimbursement with your insurance premiums and coinsurance. Some of the ones that we use often are, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, HealthWell Foundation is another great organization, PAN F is another organization that provide copay assistance, and P-A-F Copay Relief Foundation.  

Katherine Banwell:

Okay. And, uh – uh, you as a social worker would have that information for a patient to – to direct them in the – the right path. 

Yu Mee Song:

Yes. Yeah. Because they would also need assistance from us and the physician, verifying certain – that they’re in treatment.  

 Katherine Banwell:

Right. Yeah. That makes sense. 

Is There Financial Assistance for Myeloma Patients?

Is There Financial Assistance for Myeloma Patients? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Can myeloma patients access financial assistance for their care? Expert Dr. Benjamin Derman shares information about available support and resources to reduce the financial burden on patients.

Dr. Benjamin Derman is a hematologist and oncologist specializing in multiple myeloma at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Learn more about Dr. Derman.

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Transcript:

Katherine:

One final question for you. Jennifer asks, “Many new medications for treatment were mentioned. And I’m sure these could be expensive. What are the options to make these available financially for patients who need them?”  

Dr. Derman:

That’s a really good question, and one that we don’t yet have great answers to. As a physician, I don’t receive compensation based on the drugs that I prescribe. And so, I do know – I often have a good sense of what these drugs cost. A lot of the costs that are passed along to patients typically revolve around oral therapies. Even patients who are on Medicare, or sometimes especially patients who are on Medicare. And looking at some of the policy changes that seem to be coming down the pike that include capping Medicare out of pocket costs for medications will be a huge benefit to our myeloma patients.  

It’s important to familiarize yourself with different organizations and the financial support that may be available. Just to name a few, and you’re not limited to these, but The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society does a really great job in providing financial support to patients. But there are definitely other programs that can be contacted for this.  

And also, a lot of the pharmaceutical companies will actually have patient assistance programs as well. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking your provider, and typically they will have their team look into this for you. But we’re fortunate to have a team of pharmacists and my nurses as well who are used to doing this kind of thing. So, it’s important to look into those as well.

Advice for Accessing Financial Resources for Lung Cancer Care

Advice for Accessing Financial Resources for Lung Cancer Care from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Is there financial assistance available for lung cancer patients? Lung cancer expert Dr. Jyoti Patel shares support resources and tips to help reduce the financial burden of treatment.

Jyoti Patel, MD, is Medical Director of Thoracic Oncology and Assistant Director for Clinical Research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. She is also Associate Vice-Chair for Clinical Research and a Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Patel is a leader in thoracic oncology, focusing her efforts on the development and evaluation of novel molecular markers and therapeutics in patients battling non-small cell lung cancer. Learn more about Dr. Patel.

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Why Lung Cancer Patient Advocacy Is Essential

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Transcript:

Katherine:

Dr. Patel, we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up financial concerns.  

Treatment and regular appointments can become quite expensive. So, understanding that everyone’s situation is different, where can patients turn to if they need resources for financial support?  

Dr. Patel:

When your team first talks to you about therapies, it’s important that they have transparency about what something may cost or the risks that you may incur by starting treatment. However, most of us have access to wonderful financial teams and financial counselors that can help you manage this.  

Many of our industry partners and friends are able to have assistance programs to provide oral drugs at discounted rates or to work, again, with organizations in which you may be able to have reduced rates for many of your drugs. Most of the infusional drugs, again, should be covered by insurance. But outside of drug costs, there are a lot of other costs.  

So, parking every time you come for a doctor’s appointment. Time off from work. Time that you’re hiring a babysitter to take care of your children when you’re at treatment. All of those add up. And so, again, perhaps talking to the social worker at your cancer center or talking to the financial counselor, there are often local programs that can help ease some of those burdens. 

MPNs and Pregnancy: Why Close Monitoring Is Important

MPNs and Pregnancy: Why Close Monitoring Is Important  from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What complications can arise from an MPN during pregnancy? Dr. Joseph Scandura, from Weill Cornell Medicine, explains how pregnant women are monitored during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. 

Dr. Joseph Scandura is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Scientific Director of the Silver MPN Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Scandura.

 

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How Should You Participate in MPN Care and Treatment Decisions?

How Should You Participate in MPN Care and Treatment Decisions?


Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

“What complications can arise from an MPN during pregnancy?” 

Dr. Scandura:

Well, look, pregnancy – here you have two things, one of them common and complicated and the other one uncommon and complicated. So, common is pregnancy, but every pregnancy is different. And there’s a lot of changes going on in the body, and there’s certain risks that can go along with that as well. So, clotting risks sometimes can be increased in pregnancy. And then you have an MPN, where you have a clotting risk on top of that. The pregnancy really changes what kinds of medications we can think about using. And so, there are certain medications that we use comfortably in patients that would be an absolutely forbidden medication in a pregnant woman.  

And so, it depends a little bit on what’s going on with the patient. But, if they have a history of clotting, then certainly, we would think about wanting to control the blood counts. It depends a little bit on what the disease is how we would do that. Interferons are commonly used in pregnancy, and they are safe in pregnancy and can improve the outcomes in some patients with pregnancy.  

But short of that, in patients, for instance, who are very thrombotic risk, sometimes we have to sort of balance the risk of having a clot and something that can interfere with the pregnancy and the risk of bleeding. So, it’s not uncommon that people are on blood thinners during pregnancy at some point, but it really depends on the individual patient. What we do here is we keep very close contact with the patients.  

And all of our patients are seen by the high-risk OB/GYN. So, it’s not the general obstetrics people who are monitoring the patient, so they’re much more closely monitored for complications of pregnancy. And we are seeing them more frequently during pregnancy to help, from the MPN side, to try to optimize and minimize the risks of clot. And that doesn’t end as soon as the baby’s out. If breastfeeding, their clotting risk is not normalized after pregnancy, as soon as the baby comes out. And so, you know, there’s an adjustment for several months afterwards where we’re still kind  of thinking about this person a little bit differently than we would if they were not or had not been recently pregnant. 

How to Access Financial Support for MPN Patients

How to Access Financial Support for MPN Patients  from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Is there financial help for patients living with ET, PV, and myelofibrosis? MPN specialist Dr. Joseph Scandura shares advice and resources to ease the financial burden of care and treatment. 

Dr. Joseph Scandura is Associate Professor of Medicine and Scientific Director of the Silver MPN Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Scandura, here.

 

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How Should You Participate in MPN Care and Treatment Decisions


Transcript:

Katherine:

We’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up financial concerns, treatment and regular appointments can really become quite expensive. Understanding that everyone’s situation is different, of course, where can patients turn if they need resources for financial support? 

Dr. Scandura:

Yeah. It depends on what the issue is. So, one of the biggest areas that I found this can interfere with care is when we have copays that are really not reasonable and not affordable. And so, how do we fix that? How do we get access to an agent that might be beneficial for a patient but that – you know, and the insurance has approved it, but they’ve approved it with such a high copay that it’s just not an option anymore.  

And so, there are foundations. The PAN Foundation, we often will reach out to for copay assistance. And, actually, many companies have copay assistance programs for their individual drugs. And so, we have some of our nurses who are quite good at navigating these different agencies, and some of them are kind of drug-specific.  

And because we see a lot of patients with MPNs and the number of drugs is not that great, we’re pretty tapped into what are the options for copay assistance that might be helpful. And it often works. It doesn’t always work. I had a patient I saw pretty routinely, and I kind of like my certain group of labs that kind of make me feel like I have a good sense of what’s going on. But he was getting killed with the lab costs. And he mentioned this to me, and then I have to do what I tell my – I have three teenage daughters, right? And, when they were littler – smaller, younger, we spent a lot of time distinguishing needs from wants, right?  

So, this was one of those instances. What laboratory do I need to make sure that this patient is safe? What do I want because it makes me feel like I have a better idea of what’s going on? And maybe I can back off on those wants if I’m seeing the patient pretty frequently, which I happen to be at that time. And so, some of that is a conversation.   

And it depends on the specifics of the insurance and a little bit of back and forth and knowing how to kind of minimize that financial burden when that’s starting to compromise care.