DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Lois Capps
Sent By: devin.mcbrayer@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 2846
Date: 6/30/2015

Make a PACT with Cancer Patients
Support the Planning Actively for Cancer Treatment (PACT) Act

Dear Colleague:
More than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and almost 14 million Americans have a history of cancer. Many of those newly diagnosed and those living with cancer will receive the best that the American health care system has to offer. However, even those receiving outstanding care report gaps in the cancer care system. Most patients do not receive written plans explaining the diagnosis, prognosis, treatments and expected symptoms, leaving patients to navigate the complexities of a cancer diagnosis without guidance.
That is why we have introduced HR 2846: The Planning Actively for Cancer Treatment (PACT) Act. The PACT Act would fill many of the gaps in cancer care by providing Medicare beneficiaries access to a written roadmap for treatment developed in consultation by both the patient and provider. The treatment roadmap would lay out a plan to address both the cancer and the side-effects of treatment. Care planning encourages important provider-patient discussions where shared decisions are made about how to move forward based both on medical evidence and patient wishes.
The Medicare program covers most of the costs of care for more than half of all patients who are diagnosed with cancer—and will spend over $55 billion dollars each year to treat those patients. Research has confirmed that coordinated cancer care outlined in a written care plan—care that integrates treatment and symptom management—improves patient outcomes and satisfaction.
In September 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) offered a strong recommendation in favor of cancer care communication and cancer care planning. In its report, Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis, the IOM described cancer care delivery in the United States as “a system in crisis.” Their number one recommendation to improve this broken system was for payers to implement payment systems that will support cancer care communication and planning. That is exactly what the PACT Act would do.
This recommendation is in line with previous IOM reports over the last decade and is supported by nearly 30 cancer patient groups, cancer centers, and provider organizations, including: the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Cancer Support Community.
We ask you to join us in supporting this commonsense measure to create a more efficient and effective system of cancer care.
Sincerely,
LOIS CAPPS CHARLES W. BOUSTANY, JR.
Member of Congress Member of Congress