Community Cancer Care Advocates Meet With Senators And Representatives In Annual Hill Day
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Community Oncology Alliance (COA), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and fostering community cancer care, brought physicians, administrators, patients and survivors to Capitol Hill last week to meet with Senators and Representatives. Advocates met with members of Congress and their staff to discuss the many issues facing continued access to local, affordable cancer care. Topics covered included severe Medicare reimbursement cuts proposed by the Obama administration, the devastating impact of the “sequestration” cuts on cancer care, the upcoming SGR “doc fix” payment cut, and the drug shortages problem.
Close to 250 scheduled and random meetings were held during the annual one-day event. The 2012 Hill Day was the largest planned to date bringing advocates from 24 states to meet personally with their legislators to discuss cancer care.
“Hill Day allows us to bring people to Capitol Hill and meet one-on-one with legislators to discuss the serious problems facing cancer care,” Dr. David Eagle COA president. “Without these advocates, who come to Washington on their own time, we would not be able to explain to members of Congress and staff how community cancer care is in jeopardy. Today’s meetings give us hope that more legislators understand and can work with us to preserve the best cancer care delivery system in the world.”
“I am a cancer survivor and together with Marsha DeVita, an administrator from Hematology/Oncology Associates of Central New York, we were able to give both the patient and the provider perspective on cancer care,” said Karen Brounstein of New York City. “Drug shortages, practice consolidation, and decreasing reimbursements are causing severe problems for both patient and provider. We are in desperate need of help.”
Anchoring the representatives from the cancer community on Capitol Hill last week was a contingent from Florida. Dr. Michael Diaz, an oncologist with Florida Cancer Specialists, (FCS) the largest independent cancer care facility in the country, helped organize the day, along with Dorothy Green, the Executive Director of FLASCO, the Florida state oncology society. Reflecting on the day, Dr. Diaz said that, “It as critical that we not only provide our patients with the highest quality cancer treatment but that we also fight for them to continue to have access to that treatment. We had a very productive day on Capitol Hill advocating for our patients but the job is far from over.”
About Community Oncology Alliance (COA)
Formed in 2003 by community oncologists, COA is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to community oncology, where four out of five Americans with cancer are treated. COA has mobilized community oncology to become more politically active, and increased awareness on Capitol Hill about the community cancer care delivery system. Additionally, COA has brought together community oncology practices from across the country to share information in order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the cancer care they provide to their patients. COA also has a multi-stakeholder group involved with the implementation of the Oncology Medical Home, a cancer care model that fosters quality and value in cancer care. More information can be found at www.communityoncology.org.
SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance