SCARBOROUGH — New England Cancer Specialists joined a national patient advocacy network by forming a local chapter of the Community Oncology Alliance Patient Advocacy Network.
The group will bring together cancer patients, survivors, family members, doctors, medical professionals and others to preserve local access to cancer care.
More than 380 community oncology clinics have closed nationwide since 2008, according to a news release from NECS, reducing access to close-to-home care.
Another reason access has become a problem, according to the news release, is the consolidation of hospitals and health systems. The way Medicare pays for the services also needs to be reformed, according to the news release, to protect community clinics.
CPAN has chapters across the country and regularly advocates before Congress in Washington about public policy issues affecting health care.