[StBernard] Landrieu Introduces Bill to Improve Quality of Care to Cancer Patients

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Tue Apr 1 20:45:44 EDT 2008

Landrieu Introduces Bill to Improve Quality of Care to Cancer Patients

Louisiana Judge inspires legislation.

WASHINGTON - United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., yesterday
introduced legislation to help cancer patients transition from the harsh
physical and emotional side effects of treatment to the post-treatment

"Cancer patients undergo daunting challenges from the moment they are
diagnosed," Sen. Landrieu said. "They struggle to understand and undergo
treatment provided by multiple physicians while also managing the serious
side effects of treatment, including nausea, vomiting, depression and pain.
This legislation encourages the delivery of coordinated, quality care to
cancer survivors from diagnosis through survivorship."

Judge Tucker Melancon of New Orleans has undergone treatment for breast
cancer, and his input on the need for coordinated care for cancer survivors
served as a driving force for the bill.

"I would like to thank Sen. Landrieu on behalf of all of the survivors in
Louisiana and in the United States for sponsoring this important
legislation," Judge Melancon said. "When enacted the quality of the lives of
millions of survivors nationwide will be greatly enhanced."

The Comprehensive Cancer Improvement Act (CCIA), S. 2790, establishes
Medicare payment for the development of cancer care plans and communication
of the plan to the patient. It also establishes Medicare payment for the
development of a treatment summary that would also outline follow-up care
for survivors.

In a series of reports between 1999 and 2006, the Institute of Medicine
(IOM) documented the benefits of written plans that explain to cancer
survivors all of the elements of active cancer treatment - including the
side effects of therapy - and detail appropriate steps to monitor these
effects during survivorship. This legislation would also test and expand
model systems of comprehensive cancer care and enhance the training of
professionals who treat cancer survivors.

A companion bill in the House of Representatives already has nearly 100
cosponsors, and is supported by 37 National Cancer Institute-designated
comprehensive cancer centers across the country, 30 cancer advocacy
organizations in the Cancer Leadership Council, and the American Society of
Clinical Oncology.

Sen. Landrieu has long-advocated legislation to improve the quality of care
delivered to cancer patients. She championed the Breast Cancer Patient
Protection Act of 2007 to allow a woman and her doctor - not an insurance
company - to decide whether she should remain in the hospital after a

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