Poor, Non-English Speaking Cancer Patients Need Support

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Serving patients' specific needs, such as referral to socioeconomic support, can improve care.
Serving patients' specific needs, such as referral to socioeconomic support, can improve care.

HealthDay News — There are steps health care providers can take to better support cancer patients who do not speak English, are underinsured, and may face other major financial challenges, according to an article published in Managed Healthcare Executive.

In the article, Aditi Shastri, MD, an oncologist who specializes in treating blood-related cancers at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, says that an estimated 80% of patients at the medical center are minorities, mostly African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and Hispanic. The medical center's service area also has a 28.7% poverty rate.

Shastri says Montefiore Medical Center is serving these patients' specific needs by providing consent forms in patients' native languages, connecting patients with socioeconomic support, and working with legal resources to secure insurance coverage.

Additionally, Shastri says that creating and sustaining a workforce that reflects the patient population treated at a specific hospital can improve patient engagement.

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