Technology-Assisted Financial Navigation

To support patients and their caregivers as they navigate the financial cost of a cancer diagnosis, health systems should:

Objective 1: Digitize Health-Related Social Needs Screening

Health system can digitize screening instruments for risk of financial toxicity to collect standardized risk data, triage high-needs patients, and reduce administrative burden via automated support service referrals.

How to deploy: Approaches to AI/ML Deployment

Implementing digital risk assessment instruments via patient portal administered surveys is promising for increasing the volume of patients screened and for tracking patients across multiple screens.

To ensure equitable uptake of the instrument, health systems can leverage nurse navigators where use of the patient portal is less likely.

Health systems can embed third-party privacy-preserving financial assistance applications into the EHR to help patients navigate both cancer drug costs and insurance coverage.

These applications screen existing patient data, match patient profiles with an external database of financial assistance programs, and trigger EHR alerts for providers to use in health care interaction.

Objective 2: Automate Connections to Financial Support Services

Digital health solutions can be used to improve patient access to essential financial navigation resources without prompting increased provider administrative burden.

The Impact:

Pilot programs leveraging nurse navigator education, best practice advisory alerts, and EHR-embedded support service referral forms have shown an increase of over 2,000% in patient referrals to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

How to deploy: Approaches to Virtual Care Deployment

Objective 3: Leverage Technology for Patient Engagement on Cost of Care

Digital solutions support patient engagement and shared decision making as part of cancer care delivery, which can increase access to precision cancer care, promote treatment plan adherence, and help patients navigate the financial cost of care.

How to deploy: Approaches for Direct-to Patient Solution Deployment

Consider allowing patients to engage with non-clinical staff around cost of care and insurance issues, such as prior authorization, via the patient portal.

Making non-clinical healthcare staff available to address patient questions via the patient portal could reduce provider administrative burden, allowing oncologists to focus on clinical communications and allowing patients to share in decision-making about cost.

Oncologists are often underprepared to discuss the financial cost of care with cancer patients due to lack of access to accurate cost information or concerns that discussions might disrupt the provider-patient relationship.

Digital solutions can help patients and providers navigate discussions about treatment cost, as recommended by the majority of cancer clinical practice guidelines.

Defining Success & Choosing Solutions

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to measure successful digital health solution implementation. Select KPIs that:

Are measurable

Align with existing data workflows

Work within your system’s existing strategy to improve patient access

Key examples

Access Example Solutions

Here is a guide of existing solutions to expedite time to diagnosis and treatment; support the provision of high-quality virtual care; and extend clinical research options.