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How Can I Find a Financial Navigator?

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Published on June 11, 2020

How can cancer patients connect with financial navigators? Once found, what do navigators do to help?

Watch this segment from our recent webinar as host Andrew Schorr talks to two oncology navigators, Dan Sherman of Mercy Health Saint Mary's and NaVectis Group along with Aimee Hoch from Grand View Health. They cover simple steps to take to find a navigator and what to expect during your first meeting with them.

Watch Parts 2 through 4 of this series at Is Financial Help Available for Cancer Patients?Financial Assistance for Cancer Patients and Navigating the Costs of Cancer Care

This program is sponsored by Incyte, Janssen and Pharmacyclics. These organizations have no editorial control, and Patient Power is solely responsible for program content.

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Transcript | How Can I Find a Financial Navigator?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Recorded on June 4, 2020

Andrew Schorr:

Greetings, welcome to this Answers Now program. I'm Andrew Schorr in Southern California. We're going to introduce you to some experts who are elsewhere around the country. Joining us today is Dan Sherman. He joins us from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a financial navigator and a consultant nationally. He's at Mercy Health St. Mary's in Grand Rapids, and he's Founder and President of the NaVectis Group, which helps financial navigators around the country. And joining us is someone who he's helped. And that's Aimee Hoch who joins us from Grand View Health that is in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia. So Dan, welcome to you.

Dan Sherman:

Thank you, Andrew. It's a pleasure to be here.

Andrew Schorr:

Thank you for being back and Aimee Hoch. Thank you for joining us from Pennsylvania.

Aimee Hoch:

Thank you so much for having me. It's my pleasure.

Andrew Schorr:

Okay. Let's set this up, and I want to thank our sponsors today, and that is Pharmacyclics and Janssen and Incyte, companies that want to support the community, so you get the medicine, the cancer medicine, that's right for you. Now, as we do this program, it is a tumultuous time in the U.S. for a number of reasons, not just demonstrations in the streets as we do this program, but also worries about the coronavirus, our economy. So your own personal health, and whether your employer, if you have one, or if you have your own business, how does that continue? How is your income affected? And the statistic today as we do this program is more than 43 million Americans have filed for unemployment. 

There are other people who haven't yet filed for unemployment, or may not be eligible, but their income has changed. So there are many people who maybe had insurance through work, health insurance, and then if someone is diagnosed with cancer, the person who's employed or maybe a dependent, "Oh my God, what do we do?" And cancer therapy generally is expensive.

So, Dan, right off the bat, before we get into the weeds of COBRA and the Affordable Care Act and Medicare and Medicaid and all that. So obviously you and Aimee and people like you in your field are very knowledgeable. How does someone who has had this change in situation find you at the institution where they get care? What should they say to the doctor or the nurse, or what do they do?

Dan Sherman:

Right, right. I mean, that's a good question. And sometimes there'll be an answer there, and sometimes there will not be an answer. So where they should begin with is reaching out to the oncology program that they're at, so the cancer center and then request to either speak with a social worker or to speak with, if they have a financial navigator, that's the person you'd want to speak with.        

If they do not have a financial navigator that specializes in all of this work, then requesting to speak with a social worker to see if that person can be of some assistance. Sometimes they can, sometimes they're unable to answer some of these more complicated questions. If there are no resources there, then another resource could be to read, if you Google in your area, the marketplace financial navigators, right? So they wouldn't be working for the health system, but they would be working within the county that you're in. And every area tends to have somebody there that specializes in navigating the ACA.

Andrew Schorr:

The Affordable Care Act.

Dan Sherman:

And so that could be of some assistance as well. Right.

Andrew Schorr:

Okay. So, Aimee, let's say that they're at Grand View Health, and they get connected with you. They say, "Oh, you got to go see Aimee Hoch." So now they're sitting across from you. So the next step is you try to analyze their specific situation like you were describing a minute ago, right? So first getting to you, and the next is understanding their situation. Do they have to then start looking for tax returns and pulling out bank statements, and what happens next?

Aimee Hoch:

Yeah. When they get to me, I do a full assessment of the situation, like I mentioned, and start with their current income and their household information. But it's not years of information. It is more current information that they would need to provide to me during that assessment or get it to me shortly after that. And that's kind of the starting-off point that first meeting.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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