Convening leading members of Illinois’ oncology community to discuss precision medicine and identify possible policy solutions to four key barriers to improve outcomes for people with cancer.
Convened in partnership with the American Cancer Society of Illinois, more than 16 attendees ranging from legislators, oncologists, researchers, patient advocates, biotechnology officers, and precision medicine leaders explored potential solutions, such as increasing support for patient navigators to help members of underserved communities along their treatment journeys.
The discussion focused on barriers to precision medicine access in cancer care, emphasizing potential solutions and next steps across four key topics:
- Precision medicines are quickly being approved, challenging health professionals and people with cancer to stay abreast of new treatments and testing requirements to improve treatment decisions.
- Set standards for continuing medical education
- Promote next generation sequencing, and test as much as possible up front to identify heeditary risks
- Improve health education quality and access for at-risk populations
- Allocate greater resources and attention to the needs of patients in rural areas via genetic counselors and patient navigators
- Address a general shortage of patient navigators and genetic counselors
- Key decisions regarding genetic sequencing often don’t involve the entire treatment team, which can hinder uptake of novel technologies and diminish patient outcomes.
- Ensure pathologists are working more closely with HCPs to ensure the right tests are ordered via comprehensive treatment boards
- Establish registries to collect and analyze data to identify trends in precision medicine treatment
- Give HCPs access to real-time and historical results to avoid repeat biopsies, costs and delays
- Promote access to greater networkds of labs where testing can be occur
- Encourage a greater reliance on external labs as opposed to overburdening hospital systems
- Legacy informatics systems used by most hospitals may have challenges managing the breadth and complexity of patient data, sometimes challenging clinicians to incorporate them into clinical practice.
- Allow pathway for certain patient data to be shared with private research institutions while aligned with federal privacy protections to best support treatment
- Increase access to telemedicien and translation services to support non-English speaking patients
- Increase funding and reimbursement for patient navigators to serve as conduit at point of care to support infrastructure changes
- Identify ways to streamline resources to ensure treatment facilities are providing comprehensive care at a single location
- High standards for demonstrating clinical and economic utility can pose coverage and payment challenges for treatment informed by novel diagnostics.
- Eliminate lifetime and annual limits on testing and streamline reimbursement for full multiple gene testing and remove lifetime limits
- Educate payors on the economic value of paying for tests and screens and clinician-recommended treatments
- Streamline process and regulatory burden for prescribing clinician-recommended treatments
- Streamline reimbursement for full multiple gene testing and remove lifetime limits on testing
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