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Paula Raska, research associate, Cleveland Clinic, discusses a study of how patients navigate through cancer care at her institution.
The study, led by Raska, found that since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the presence of insurance barriers between patients and the care they’re seeking has been reduced significantly.
However, there is still a large proportion of newly-insured patients who still experience these access barriers. Raska says that simply having a human to talk to — about appropriate appointments, referrals, paperwork and more — can aid in the navigation of these barriers. Navigation can often be the difference between whether or not a patient undergoes screening for cancer, or adheres to treatment if a diagnosis is made.