Know the Bills
Patient Access to Therapies: A Balancing Act that Leads to Shared Decision Making
The Colon Cancer Alliance helps nearly one million individuals affected by colon cancer each year and wants its patients to have access to the best treatment options available. However, cancer treatment costs are increasingly burdensome. The median price for cancer treatment today is around $10,000 per month. The out-of-pocket costs for patients are also escalating. That said, should managed care and medical providers make decisions for patients based solely on what they think a patient can afford?
Let’s Decide Together
The Colon Cancer Alliance is a strong proponent of shared decision making between patients, caregivers and clinicians. Patients need to have a voice in determining their treatment care plan, options should be detailed clearly, comprehensively; including benefits and possible side effects; the health care team's skills; and costs, and be respectful of patients’ preferences and values. Every treatment option should be available to them regardless of price, geography or age. Shared decision making can provide numerous benefits for patients, clinicians, and the health care system, including increased patient knowledge, less anxiety about the treatment process, improved health outcomes, potential reduction in unnecessary care and costs, and greater alignment of care with the patients' values.
Questions You Should Ask
The Colon Cancer Alliance encourages patients and caregivers to ask questions in order to make the best treatment decision. We also advocate for you to get a second opinion.
- What is the goal of my treatment? (curative, palliative, etc.)
- Based on what is known about my cancer, what treatment options will be the most effective? How much more effective is this option than the next best option?
- What are the financial implications of the proposed treatment plan?
- When will we determine how I am responding to treatment and any possible side-effects?
- Knowing my personal situation (balancing work and treatment, limited help, quality of life, travel considerations, etc.), what is the best treatment plan?
- Please tell me about the expertise of your treatment team.
About the Colon Cancer Alliance
The Colon Cancer Alliance’s mission is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. We are doing this by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support. Call our toll-free helpline at 1-877-422-2030 or vist www.ccalliance.org.