Addresses a unique need for a large population of diseased patients and will ultimately lead to improved quality of life for them.
Cancer is now being recognized as a chronic disease with need for multi-modality comprehensive care. Such care is frequently missing, and cancer patients frequently get “lost in the transition” from being patients with acute disease to ones with chronic disease. Journey Forward is a plan created by Anthem, Inc., UCLA’s Cancer Survivorship Center, the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship, and Genentech, that is dedicated to improving follow-up care and monitoring of these patients and is based on recommendations from a 2005 IOM report.
Journey Forward promotes Survivorship Care Plans. It was developed using a series of focus groups with cancer survivors, interviews with providers (e.g., oncologist, nurse practitioners, PCPs) who care for patients with breast or colon cancer, and interviews and meetings with key opinion leaders from national organizations. Using information from these groups and interviews, Anthem, Inc. developed toolkits for oncologists and patients as well as mailers for PCPs. Anthem collaborated with UCLA’s Cancer Survivorship Center, The National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship, and Genentech to create hardcopy and electronic tools to educate their clientele. The program was initially made available to physicians and members through BCBS affiliates in California, Colorado, Nevada, Maine and New Hampshire.
The website journeyforward.org is especially useful because it houses all survivorship materials in one place and is available to the entire public, not just Anthem enrollees.
Since the inception of the program, Anthem has done annual provider satisfaction surveys to determine how comfortable PCPs are in caring for cancer survivors. PCPs have become more comfortable over time in their care of these patients and view the reports they receive describing the course of the cancer treatment, as well as, recommended care of these patients going forward as particularly valuable.
This program is well-designed and targets an important area that is often ignored and deserves more attention. Journey Forward lives up to its name and successfully plans for that complicated journey after active cancer treatment ends.
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) advocates for quality cancer care for all Americans and provides tools that empower people affected by cancer to advocate for themselves. Founded by and for cancer survivors in 1986, NCCS created the widely-accepted definition of survivorship and considers someone a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis through the balance of life. Its free publications and resources include the award-winning Cancer Survival Toolbox®, a self-learning audio program created by leading cancer organizations to help people develop essential skills to meet the challenges of their illness. More information is available at www.canceradvocacy.org or 1-888-650-9127.
UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center
The UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center's mission is to provide high quality clinical care for post-treatment cancer patients, provide information on improving survivorship quality-of-life, pursue cutting-edge survivorship research and educate the community on survivorship care and concerns. The center has become the focal point of survivorship activities at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA Healthcare. The center is developing models of health care delivery to meet the physical and psychosocial needs of cancer survivors.
Anthem, Inc. is committed to improving the lives and health of the people and communities we serve by simplifying the connection between health, care and value. Our goal is to help shape the impact each health care decision has on individuals, the health care system at-large, and our communities. Anthem’s more than 42,000 associates work every day to help create the best health care value for our customers. Through collaborations with providers and with innovative programs, Anthem’s affiliated health plans reward healthy lifestyles and quality, safe and effective care. As the nation’s largest health benefits company, with more than 35 million members in its affiliated health plans, Anthem is at the center of the health care system. This position provides us with the relationships and insights needed to help create affordable and actionable solutions that improve health care.
As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Anthem serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about Anthem, Inc. is available at www.antheminc.com.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines for patients with significant unmet medical needs. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DNA. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.