New Program Offers Patients Free Transportation to Cancer Appointments During COVID-19 Pandemic
COA/CancerCare Patient Assistance Transportation Program ensures continued access to cancer treatments
A new program offers complimentary, door-to-door transportation for patients with cancer needing help getting to and from medical appointments with their community oncology practice during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.
The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and CancerCare, national leaders in advocacy and support for people affected by cancer, launched the COA/CancerCare Patient Assistance Transportation Program to ensure patients continue to receive vital cancer treatments from licensed community oncology professionals they know and trust. The program is open to patients receiving cancer care at a registered practice who do not have the ability to travel due to COVID-19.
- Community oncology practices can register for the program on the COA website at https://communityoncology.org/patient-assistance-transportation-program/
Starting this week, staff at oncology practices can request rides for patients when they book an appointment at least 24 hours in advance. Transportation is provided by GroundLink, a leading national provider of transportation services. GroundLink will be taking precautions to ensure the cleanliness of their vehicles. Licensed drivers will arrive wearing a mask and medical-grade gloves. Each car is disinfected before and after every ride. The costs for each trip taken through the program is completely covered, and there is no charge to patients or practices.
“A global pandemic doesn’t slow the need for cancer treatments and community oncology practices continue to be there for patients in need,” said Michael Diaz, MD, President of the Community Oncology Alliance and Director of Patient Advocacy at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute. “No one should have to compromise their health and safety because they are reluctant to travel to medical appointments. This program ensures that patients will continue to get the treatments and care they need at the right time and in the best possible setting.”
“It’s truly amazing what we can accomplish when we work together to help vulnerable patients in this time of great need,” said Patricia J. Goldsmith, Chief Executive Officer of CancerCare, a national nonprofit providing counseling, education, and financial assistance to people affected by cancer. “CancerCare has devoted decades to expanding access to cancer care and services. The COA/CancerCare Patient Assistance Transportation Program ensures people with cancer can continue their treatments.”
The COA/CancerCare Patient Assistance Transportation Program is being made possible by a charitable donation from Bristol Myers Squibb.
About the Community Oncology Alliance (COA)
The majority of Americans battling cancer receive treatment in the community oncology setting. Keeping patients close to their homes, families, and support networks lessens the impact of this devastating disease. Community oncology practices do this while delivering high-quality, cutting-edge cancer care at a fraction of the cost of the hospital setting. The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) advocates for community oncology and smart public policy that ensures the community cancer care system remains healthy and able to provide all Americans with access to local, quality, affordable cancer care.
Learn more at www.CommunityOncology.org.
Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical, and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online, and in-person, educational workshops, publications, and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by master’s-prepared oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.
To learn more, visit www.cancercare.org or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).