Mitigating Financial Toxicity for Patients and Providers

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Safiya Tisdell, vice president of Adparo Services at Annexus Health, details the available assistance options designed to ease the financial burden associated with accessing care for both patients and providers.

It is likely that patients will run into financial roadblocks while navigating their treatment journey. Expenses like health care costs and insurance premiums account for just some of the obstacles that contribute to financial toxicity, an umbrella term that refers to the economic burden and barriers to care that patients face while trying to access treatment.

Despite these roadblocks, hope is not all lost for patients seeking care. In a conversation at this year’s Healthcare Advocate Summit, Safiya Tisdell, vice president of Adparo Services at Annexus Health, sat down with Drug Topics to discuss some of the financial assistance options available to patients designed to help alleviate the stress of accessing care.

“There’s a plethora of patient assistance programs,” Tisdell said. “Unfortunately, [part] of some of the issues is that there's so much out there, and sometimes that's what's conflicting and complicated for our provider organizations.”

As it applies between pharmacists and health care providers, Tisdell noted the importance of communication in optimizing support for patients navigating the financial aspects of their treatment journey and mitigating provider-oriented complications.

“We see it all across the country where providers and pharmacy teams–they’re so focused on taking care of the patients, advocating for the patients–they just don’t communicate,” she said.

To her own point, Tisdell offered a solution: integrative services, like those offered by Annexus Health, which organize patient data in a central platform and share it across providers.

“Previously, practices have always used Excel spreadsheets or Word documents or emails back and forth, and that’s just a lot of managing. That’s an administrative burden that we’re trying to reduce at Annexus Health,” Tisdell said. “[We’re] making sure that we can get [providers] into one platform…where they’re able to all see and share that data across the different practices.”

In concluding the conversation, Tisdell touched upon the importance of the Healthcare Advocate Summit in promoting collaboration between advocates and bringing the struggles of patients to light.

“When I was an advocate, I didn’t have a channel to be able to communicate with other advocates [or] to be able to communicate with different financial risk managers (FRMs),” she said. “This is such an important platform for all of the advocates to come together, [and] for all of the vendors to learn from the advocates.”

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