Our purpose was to pilot a novel patient-centered financial navigation (FN) intervention to decrease the burden of financial toxicity (FT) among uninsured and underinsured patients with cancer treated at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital (NCCH). Methods: Participants were recruited by cancer clinic nurses and social workers at the NCCH. Eligible patients scored less than 22 points (indicating significant FT) on the COmprehensive Score for financial Toxicity (COST) instrument. Fifty patients were enrolled in the intervention, which included an intake assessment of financial needs and vulnerability, initial one-on-one consultation with a trained financial navigator (i.e., financial counselor or social worker), triage to financial support services matching patients' needs, and multiple follow-up appointments. Navigator recommendations were based upon a detailed review of patients' financial status, billing information, insurance, and other indicators used to refer patients to appropriate financial and social services resources offered by the hospital, government, nonprofits and private corporations. Following the initial appointment, patients were given a checklist of resources they were eligible for and the required paperwork to complete applications. During follow-up appointments, application status was reviewed, and practical assistance was provided. Patients were re-contacted at 2-week intervals to assess progress toward financial assistance goals. Outcome data collection included pre/post-intervention COST scores, patient satisfaction with the intervention, and intervention fidelity and retention. Results: The first fifty patients approached all screened positive for FT (COST < 22). Baseline COST scores ranged from 0–19. Results indicated a significant improvement in COST scores following the FN intervention (average increase = 6.86, 95% CI = 4.30–9.42), P < 0.0001). Post-intervention questionnaires indicated excellent patient satisfaction and retention with the FN intervention, and navigator logs indicated high fidelity to the intervention protocol. Conclusions: A novel FN intervention was feasible, acceptable, and effective in reducing FT among uninsured and underinsured oncology patients.
The following are the 17 highest scoring abstracts of those submitted for presentation at the 44th Annual ASPO meeting held March 22–24, 2020, in Tucson, AZ.