CRANBURY, N.J., Nov. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Payment for navigation services has long been a legislative priority for the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+). Now, with the recent release of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Final Rule, this goal is finally being realized, further recognizing and validating the important role patient navigators play in the care continuum.
Under the new schedule, patient navigation services, caregiver training services, community health integration services, and expanded access to telehealth services will be reimbursed.
"This is a landmark decision that will help dismantle health disparities and improve health equity in communities across America by paving the way for better access to care, quality, affordability, and innovation," says AONN+ Executive Director, Strategy and Operations, Emily Gentry, BSN, RN, HON-ONN-CG, OCN. "AONN+ celebrates CMS’ final ruling and congratulates every navigator who has contributed to this outcome through their tireless efforts to demonstrate the value of our profession."
What the 2024 Medicare PFS Final Rule Means for Navigators and Their Patients
CMS’ new policy changes mark the first administrative actions of this kind to pursue additional supports for patients and caregivers—specifically in the oncology setting. Through these changes, CMS validates the value of patient navigation while empowering these professionals and their patients and caregivers with access to vital supports.
Elements of CY 2024 PFS that directly impact patient navigation include those related to caregiver training, telehealth, behavioral and mental health services, and dental care for individuals with head and neck cancer. These services complement the work of patient navigators by enriching patient care and enhancing overall outcomes for individuals with cancer. More information about how this final rule supports navigators and their patients is available here.
"We are very pleased that CMS has elected to cover these services," says AONN+ Program Director Sharon Gentry, MSN, RN, HON-ONN-CG, AOCN, CBCN. "As the professional home and resource for patient navigators, we are proud of AONN+’s work to elevate patient navigation’s national profile and remain committed to working with government and non-profit agencies to drive change that expands access to quality, equitable care for individuals with cancer throughout the country."
About the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators, Inc. (AONN+)
The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators, Inc. (AONN+), is the largest national specialty organization dedicated to improving patient care and quality of life by defining, enhancing, and promoting the role of oncology nurse and patient navigators. The organization, which has more than 9,000 members, was founded in 2009 to provide a network for all professionals involved and interested in patient navigation and survivorship care services in order to better manage the complexities of the cancer treatment process. www.aonnonline.org
Gwen Coverdale, 267-884-6328
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SOURCE The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators