Medical Tour Guides 

Legislation pending to offer patients help with health-care maze.

When Marva Turner underwent breast cancer treatment at Baptist Hospital, a health-care social worker was by her side. Unfortunately, many patients have to endure this process alone, which can lead to misinformation and fear. Congress has proposed a bill to ensure that patients with chronic disease are no longer left alone to manage the health-care maze.

The Patient Navigator, Outreach, and Chronic Disease Prevention Act is a sort of "buddy system" bill that pairs patients with a health-care professional. The "navigator" would help patients schedule appointments, arrange transportation, and identify financial sources to pay for medical care.

"This year 30,850 people will be diagnosed with cancer and another 12,710 will die in Tennessee," said Turner. "This legislation can benefit people in Memphis. For people who are isolated and don't know where to get help, just knowing somebody is there would really be good for them."

The bill has garnered support from several health-care organizations, including the American Cancer Society, which has lobbied Tennessee congressional members to support the legislation. If approved, the National Cancer Institute and similar health alliances would become responsible for allocating grants to outreach organizations. Patients requesting navigator services through the American Cancer Society would pay fees based on their financial ability to do so, said ACS community advocacy spokesperson Dena Owens. n

The proposal is modeled after successful programs such as the Harlem Navigator Program in New York City. After that program began in 1990, New York's early diagnosis of breast cancer has improved from one out of 20 to four out of 10. Kansas City, Missouri's program reduced the number of days from cancer screening to treatment from 176 to 28. Hazard, Kentucky's program has lowered the one-year cost of hospitalization from more than $1 million to $250,000.

The bill is currently pending before the senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Politics Beat Blog

Jim Kyle Gets “Roasted,” Survives to Find the Moral of the Story

Beyond the Arc

Next Day Notes: Grizzlies 112, Flamengo 72

Intermission Impossible

Have a #Blessed Day

Hungry Memphis

Downtown Dining Week Dates Set, and more news

Sing All Kinds

Tyler Keith and Limes in Harbortown Saturday

Intermission Impossible

Theatre Memphis Revives “The Heiress”

Exhibit M

Art This Weekend: Tad Lauritzen Wright and more

Sing All Kinds

Run the Jewels at Minglewood Hall on Tuesday

News Blog

Infant Mortality Hits a Record Low

ADVERTISEMENT

Flyer Flashback

Looking Back at the “Best Of Memphis” List That Started It All

Tidbits from the 1994 "Best of Memphis" list.

Read Story

© 1996-2014

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Memphis Business Quarterly
Powered by Foundation