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Abra Kelson Outlines How Early Intervention Strategies Can Benefit Patient Treatment

Early intervention to identify social needs means issues get caught sooner and patients can avoid or minimize financial toxicity, said Abra Kelson, MSW, LSWA-IC, medical social work supervisor, Northwest Medical Specialties.


Early intervention to identify social needs means issues get caught sooner and patients can avoid or minimize financial toxicity, said Abra Kelson, MSW, LSWA-IC, medical social work supervisor, Northwest Medical Specialties.

Transcript

What is the difference when there is early intervention for patients with social needs versus when issues get caught later?

Early intervention is so important when you talk about anything—financial, insurance. If someone is missed in that step, the doctor could have ordered treatment, scans, things like that, and they don’t have insurance or they’re not covered and now they have these bills for tens of thousands of dollars. That is going to lead to financial toxicity, to bankruptcy, possibly.

Being able to have someone in right away to say, "These are your benefits, these are where there might be gaps in your coverage or your cost of care might be high for you. Let’s get an assistance program in there right away." It goes the same for mental health, too. If someone is coming in with a new diagnosis, they also have untreated depression. That can also lead to poor outcomes, poor compliance with treatment. It’s really important that we are addressing the physical, the emotional, the spiritual. All of those aspects are equally important, in my eyes, to the cancer care experience.

 
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