Patient Assistance Programs: Easing the Burden of Financial Toxicity During Cancer Treatment

Lori McMullen

health insurance, patient assistance programs, co-payment assistance, financial obligation
CJON 2019, 23(5), 36-40. DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.S2.36-40

Background: As the cost of cancer treatment escalates, patients with cancer are facing an increased financial burden because of their financial obligations for coinsurance, deductibles, and co-payments.

Objectives: This article describes how clinical nurses who are supporting patients on their cancer journey are positioned to offer guidance to help alleviate financial burden associated with drug costs by enrolling patients in patient assistance programs (PAPs).

Methods: Details are provided about how PAPs work and how a basic knowledge of healthcare coverage terminology, assessment tools, interview techniques, and interprofessional collaboration can contribute to successfully accessing PAPs.

Findings: PAPs are sponsored by multiple sources and can be identified using web-based resources. For patients who meet eligibility criteria, assistance in the form of PAPs can reduce the impact of financial toxicity related to cancer treatment.

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