AccessHope, a cancer benefits company for employers, announced Wednesday a new collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (Fred Hutch) to expand access to cancer expertise in the North West.
Duarte, based in California AccessHope is a subsidiary of City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment organization. It works with employer health plans to provide a benefit that helps members with cancer connect with National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers. AccessHope offers expert consultative reviews where a team of cancer experts reviews an employee’s case and treatment plan to determine if they are on the best track. The company also reviews complex cancer cases and provides a cancer support team.
AccessHope works with 22 Fortune 500 companies as clients, but Chief Medical Officer Dr. Todd Sachs declined to say who the companies are for privacy reasons.
Fred Hutch, the only NCI-designated cancer center in Washington State, will provide the expertise for AccessHope’s services. It joins a number of other NCI-designated cancer centers that AccessHope works with: City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory Healthcare and Northwestern Medicine. But working with Fred Hutch will help the cancer care company expand its offering to employers in the Northwest states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana and Wyoming.
“AccessHope’s goal is to continue to fill the gaps in cancer knowledge to improve the quality of life and health outcomes for people with cancer,” Sachs wrote in an email. “New groundbreaking collaborations, including with Fred Hutch, expand our reach into key geographies like the Northwest and bring a shared commitment to increasing our reach and impact on people across the U.S., helping people with cancer get back to work and life while seeking to reduce unnecessary, inappropriate and wasteful expenditure.’
The company’s competitors include providers of expert medical opinions such as Big circles, health plans such as UnitedHealthcare and Cigna and regional center of excellence models. But what sets AccessHope apart is that it focuses specifically on cancer and provides its services remotely, so patients don’t have to travel, according to Sacks.
“AccessHope’s model differs because we focus exclusively on cancer—providing access to NCI-level cancer expertise for eligible plan members and their oncologists to help improve outcomes—and our services do not require travel to a physical location,” Sachs said. “This helps us ensure that cancer expertise can be accessible to everyone, no matter where they live.”
For Fred Hutch, working with AccessHope allows the cancer center to reach more patients battling cancer, said Dr. Tom Purcell, chief medical officer.
“Ensuring that everyone facing a cancer diagnosis has access to leading-edge cancer care is paramount to everything we do at Fred Hutch,” Purcell said in a news release. “Entering into this collaboration with AccessHope furthers that goal.”
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