Cancer Treatment Education Act of 2013

Improving Cancer Treatment Education Act of 2014

ONS's signature legislation, the Improving Cancer Treatment Education Act of 2014 (HR 1661), requests one-hour reimbursement through Medicare for symptom management education provided by an oncology nurse. The bill recognizes that patients with cancer benefit from an educational session in advance of treatment, which teaches them how to manage the adverse effects of cancer treatment, reduce its risks, and maximize their well-being as survivors.

Comprehensive patient with cancer treatment education services are defined as the provision of a one-hour patient treatment education session, delivered by an RN, that

  • Educates the patient and the patient’s caregiver(s) about all aspects of the care to be provided
  • Informs the patient regarding any potential symptoms, side effects, or adverse events
  • Explains when the healthcare provider should be contacted
  • Reviews ways in which side effects and adverse events can be minimized and health and well-being maximized.

The legislation not only helps patients to manage their side effects, but it reduces adverse events and the need for urgent or inpatient care. ONS will work with congressional champions in the 114th U.S. Congress  to further persuade lawmakers to pass H.R. 1661, emphasizing the role of oncology nurses in workforce, research, and education funding at the federal level.