Oncology Financial Navigation – Best Practice Sharing

from Mercy Cancer Network Newsletter, March 2012

One of the strengths of the Mercy Cancer Network is its ability to identify a best practice and coordinate a mechanism for sharing among member hospitals. The Oncology Financial Navigation program at Saint Mary’s Health Care in Grand Rapids is a perfect example.

Over the past decade there has been a shift in processes and responsibility for payment for health care services. This has resulted in the cost of care increasingly being transferred to patients. Unfortunately, few patients can realistically cover the financial responsibility of their cancer care. As a result, financial hardship has now become the number one stressor of cancer patients.

This hardship is then reflected in the financial performance for providers. The Financial Navigation Program at Saint Mary’s Health Care, under the leadership of Dan Sherman, Clinical Financial Consultant, addresses these issues.

Strategies have been developed that provide opportunities for financial access to patients, thus alleviating their stress level and enable them to focus on treatment and recovery. In addition, these strategies prevent financial losses and increase revenue.

This program has been a win-win for the patients and the hospital, leading to increased patient satisfaction and recovery.

Now the program is being shared across a number of MCN sites, through a structured training and implementation program led by Dan Sherman. This three-year program will be launching at St. Mary Mercy Livonia, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Mercy Health Muskegon, and St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron is also reviewing the program.

Each site will then be prepared to implement their own Oncology Financial Navigation program, realizing benefits for both the hospital and the patients. Best practice sharing in action!

For more information contact Dan Sherman at The NaVectis Group.

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