From Kari Dickman, RN, BSN, Revenue Cycle Manager with OHC
February 26, 2018
For people who have been diagnosed with cancer, the disease is just one of the many issues they face during their challenging journey. There is so much information regarding their diagnosis, tests, treatment options, medications, symptoms, office visits and more. Most patients are overwhelmed.
And then come the bills.
Fortunately, OHC has financial navigators to help patients understand everything related to costs and make their way through each step so they can focus on their treatment.
“So many patients come in already overwhelmed,” said Amanda Hensley who is a financial navigator with OHC. “We meet with patients face-to-face and over the phone. We explain what each bill is for and what their insurance covers. We contact their insurance company for them because we understand what they’re going through and how much information is coming at them. We also help them identify ways to cover the portion they are responsible for.”
Of all cancer-related costs, some of the most daunting are the cost of treatment medications. Out of the nearly $374 billion Americans spent on prescriptions in 2014, $32.6 billion – about 9 percent – was spent on oncology drugs, according to the annual report by IMS Health Informatics. Another $11.1 billion was spent on supportive care treatments, which help with the side effects of strong chemotherapy drugs.
However, cancer drugs were not the most widely prescribed, they are just extremely expensive. For someone who receives a diagnosis of cancer, the financial impact can be significant.
“We’ve had patients consider refusing treatment because they are afraid they’ll leave their loved ones with unpaid bills. They are more concerned about what will happen to their family than their own health,” said Amanda.
OHC wants patients to focus on getting better and not worry about finances. Our financial navigators recommend keeping the following steps in mind when you’re initially diagnosed with cancer.
- Always remember someone is here to help you.
- Bring in all of your insurance documents so the navigator can understand your coverage. They will help you complete forms and make phone calls. The navigator can research assistance options and set up payment programs so you can focus on your health.
- Ask as many questions as you want and call us if you think of more questions later. We’re always here to help.
Here are some other tips:
- If you’re eligible for Medicaid, we will work closely with you to complete and file the correct application. We can even file the application on your behalf, if necessary. We can also help with applications for Social Security Disability.
- Many of our patients are enrolled in co-pay assistance and/or foundation assistance programs. We can help determine if you are eligible for this support and will help you complete any necessary paperwork.
- If you are receiving oral medication through OHC Pharmacy Services and are unable to afford co-payments or deductibles, we’ll enroll you into an assistance program to help cover your costs.
For more information or assistance, call toll free 1-888-649-4800 or complete the Contact Us form on this website.Comments (0)