Financial Toxicity on Patients, Healthcare Providers, and Payers
From the Affordable Care Act and COVID-19 to telemedicine and consumer experiences, the healthcare industry is constantly transforming. However, the need for cancer treatment is not changing as one of the largest cohorts of Americans reaches an age notorious for the development of chronic illnesses such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. These illnesses are a financial burden not only to patients; hospitals and cancer care facilities write off billions of dollars in uncompensated care annually. Financial toxicity is not a new term, but the ongoing cost increases in healthcare treatments have pushed it into the limelight again. Financial toxicity is the distress and burden caused by the high costs associated with cancer and other chronic illnesses.
“Prices higher than $10,000 a month for cancer
treatments are common. After premiums and
deductibles of health insurance are met, the out of pocket costs could be nearly as much or more than
the average American makes per month.”1
Organizations such as CancerCare and the American Cancer Society provide databases of options to patients and treatment centers. Unfortunately, it takes significant effort by both the financial counselors and cancer patients to work through the maze of available programs. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, cancer patients cope with not only the emotional toll of care, but also face housing, travel, medication, and other costs associated with treating cancer.
Similar to the results of robotic process automation, RPA, in the healthcare revenue cycle, there are opportunities for automation in financial assistance to offset the effects of financial toxicity. According to this American Journal of Medicine article, over 40% of newly diagnosed cancer patients deplete their life savings within two years of starting treatment. Despite this staggering statistic, data automation has not been fully applied in healthcare organizations to utilize the array of financial assistance available to cancer patients.
Amitech Solutions developed FlintFA™, a bot for financial counselors and patients, that optimizes financial assistance programs, reduces the impacts of financial toxicity on patients, and decreases the negative financial impact of uncompensated care. With FlintFA, you can achieve a threefold increase in program participation meaning more patients can enroll in programs that provide financial support. FlintFA automates time consuming search, data entry, and follow-up activities so that cancer treatment center financial counselors can spend time with patients going over their needs rather than monitoring tedious tasks associated with non-automated systems.