Lay navigators in the Patient Care Connect Program support patients with cancer from diagnosis and throughout the illness trajectory. They empower patients to engage in their health care and navigate them through the increasingly complex health care system. Navigation programs can improve access to care, enhance coordination of care, and overcome barriers to timely, high-quality health care. However, few data exist regarding the financial implications of implementing a lay navigation program. To examine the influence of lay navigation on health care spending and resource use among geriatric patients with cancer, researchers compared changes in quarterly Medicare costs and health care use between patients navigated in the Patient Care Connect Program and a propensity score–matched group of non-navigated patients.
The study found that costs to Medicare and health care use from 2012 through 2015 declined significantly for navigated patients compared with matched comparison patients. “Lay navigation programs should be expanded as health systems transition to value-based health care,” say the researchers. Click here to view details of the study as well as the results.