Patient Advocate Foundation

Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) will implement activities in West Virginia to increase awareness about lung cancer screening and empower lung cancer patients by linking them to the necessary case management support for better overall health outcomes.

Need

West Virginia ranks among the top U.S. states in public risk factors for tobacco use and among the bottom in American’s health rankings. The rate of lung cancer incidence in West Virginia is significantly greater than other U.S states. Of the more than 100,000 Medicaid recipients who belong to the 55-74 age bracket in West Virginia, it is estimated that more than a fourth (28.6%, according to the 2011 Centers for Disease Control report) currently smoke cigarettes. When combined with former smokers who quit within the last 15 years, this data set suggests that more than 30,000 patients will qualify for the newly approved screening recommendations (screening recommendations described below). The data also suggests an immediate imperative for intervention efforts which will not only increase awareness of the screening recommendations, but also link early detection to accessible treatment and patient support.

Project

A decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in February 2015 provides coverage for annual lung cancer screening via low-dose CT screening for those at highest-risk for lung cancer, defined as those age 55 to 77 years, who have no symptom of lung disease, a history of heavy smoking, and are currently smoking or quit smoking within the last 15 years. PAF will implement the project to increase patients’ awareness about the disease, provide hands-on navigation of the reimbursement system, and link lung cancer patients to services that will help overcome ancillary barriers to access healthcare and improve treatment adherence.

The project has three primary components:

  1. Provider outreach and engagement
  2. Patient awareness and education
  3. Case management support.

Partners

  • Patient Advocate Foundation
  • American Cancer Society
  • West Virginia University Cancer Institute
  • Coventry Cares for West Virginia
  • West Virginia Prevention Research Center
  • Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition