Thank you California Legislature for adopting a Cancer Patients Bill of Rights!

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Californians overwhelmingly support better cancer care

READ ABOUT PUBLIC OPINION

Cancer Care
Is Different

California’s Healthcare System is Failing Many When it Comes to Cancer Care

Amazing advances in cancer science are creating more effective treatments and cures for patients affected by cancer. But many cancer patients do not benefit from this knowledge and level of care – and too many die as a result.

At least 187,140 Californians will be diagnosed with cancer this year. This is equivalent to nearly 21 new cancer cases every hour of every day. Thousands of these new cancer patients will be misdiagnosed or placed on treatment regimens that are inappropriate or ineffective for their condition.

0 Californians Diagnosed
with Cancer Every Year 0 New Cancer Cases
Every Hour
Read the California Cancer
Patients Bill of Rights Learn more

patient stories

How Can Californians Get Better Cancer Care?

The cancer patients bill of rights:
Six important rights that every cancer patient in California should expect from the time of diagnosis

Create transparency in cancer outcomes:
Patients and their families should know where they can get safe, effective, and expert care

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ResourcesWhy Reform is Needed Now!

Patient Stories

By an overwhelming margin of 76-9%, Californians believe cancer care is better delivered in hospitals that specialize in cancer treatment, rather than in community hospitals that treat all kinds of conditions.

Public Policy Polling
California Statewide Survey
September, 2020

Fully 81% of Californians believe it is unfair that many health plans do not allow access to care at specialty cancer hospitals. 82% say it is ‘very important’ for cancer patients to have access to care that is not available through in-network doctors.

Public Policy Polling
California Statewide Survey
September, 2020

Despite the staggering number of Californians who are diagnosed with cancer each year–173,000 new cases in 2016–there is very little information to guide patient decision-making about where to get care. For decades research has shown that hospitals performing a low volume of surgeries are more likely to have worse patient outcomes–more complications and deaths–than hospitals with higher volumes of surgeries.

–Laurence Baker
–Maryann O’Sullivan

Despite the enormous cancer burden sustained by Americans, measures of cancer care performance and quality are not readily available to patients, healthcare providers, payers, policymakers or the general public.

–National Cancer Institute

About 85 percent of U.S. cancer patients get treated at a community hospital, where they see an oncologist who treats many different types of cancers. These generalists are typically not up on the latest tests and treatments. The hospitals who employ them don’t expect them to go through the time and expense of figuring it out. While highly regarded cancer centers place as many as quarter of their patients on newer precision drugs, the percentage at most community hospitals is nearly zero.

–Newsweek, July 2019

The need for access to the proper expertise is heightened by the reality that cancer is a rapidly evolving field, one that requires ongoing access to the most recent data and technology. The consequences of limited or delayed access to state-of-the-art treatments are significant, leading to misdiagnoses that can often mean unnecessary exposure to toxic chemotherapy agents, suffering, or avoidable death.

–Joseph Alvarnas, MD

Most patients don’t know if trials are covered by insurance, & it can vary depending on the state. In addition, even many oncologist providers don’t know about current clinical trials.

–Laura Holmes Haddad

Medicaid in California (Medi-Cal) is neither safe nor effective. If Medi-Cal were a drug, a responsible regulator should consider pulling it from the market.

-Douglas W. Blayney, M.D.,
Stanford Cancer Institute