CRANBURY, NJ, March 24, 2021 – Every day, approximately 1700 Americans die from cancer. That adds up to more than 600,000 of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones perishing from these diseases each year. Early detection of cancer saves lives, lowers treatment costs, and increases quality of life for patients and their families. The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) is joining more than 300 organizations from all 50 states in signing a letter addressed to the US Congress in support of the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act, which will expand the ability to screen for and detect more cancers.
At this time, routine screening is reimbursed for only 5 types of cancer, including breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer, leaving a vast majority of cancers without available screening tests.
According to Sharon Gentry, RN, MSN, CBCN, AOCN, HON-ONN-CG, AONN+ Program Director, “Ongoing clinical trials demonstrate a groundbreaking new category of cancer screening that can detect many deadly cancers in earlier stages. These multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests utilize advancements in genomic science through a simple blood draw and find cancer before it spreads throughout the body. Peer-reviewed research details the effectiveness of these new technologies and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted multiple breakthrough device designations.”
Currently, Americans most at risk for cancer—Medicare beneficiaries—will face substantial barriers to coverage of MCED tests, even after they are approved by the FDA.
The Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act responds to the misalignment between advancements in science and outdated policy by allowing Medicare coverage of multi-cancer screening. The bill will allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to evaluate and cover blood-based MCED tests and future test methods once approved by the FDA.
Improving cancer care means improving access to screenings. AONN+ supports the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act as it will allow Medicare beneficiaries, and their healthcare providers, to gain access to these transformative new early detection tests.
For the full letter to Congress and a list of supporting organizations, please click here.
About the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators® (www.aonnonline.org)
The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators, Inc. (AONN+) is the largest national specialty organization dedicated to improving patient care and quality of life by defining, enhancing, and promoting the role of oncology nurse and patient navigators. The organization, which has nearly 8900 members, was founded in 2009 to provide a network for all professionals involved and interested in patient navigation and survivorship care services in order to better manage the complexities of the cancer treatment process.
The Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship® (www.jons-online.com) is the official publication of AONN+. JONS seeks to strengthen the role of nurse and patient navigators in cancer care by serving as a platform for these professionals to disseminate original research findings, exchange best practices, and find support for their growing community.
CONQUER: the patient voice™ magazine (www.conquer-magazine.com) is the AONN+ premier forum for patients with cancer. CONQUER features articles written by and for patients with cancer, survivors, nurse navigators, and other oncology team members. This magazine addresses the issues that patients, their family members, and caregivers face every day in an easy-to-read format. Issues include interviews with patients with cancer, information on access to care, and articles on lifestyle topics such as nutrition, stress management, personal finance, and legal and employer issues. CONQUER also features patient stories that are nominated for the AONN+ Hero of Hope™ award, which is presented at the AONN+ Annual Conference. All stories are compiled in a special issue of CONQUER at the end of the year.
Gwen Coverdale, 267-884-6328