Providence Swedish Regional Cancer System’s Integrative Cancer Care Program offers patients an array of holistic medicine treatments designed to complement conventional medical cancer care with the goal of providing comprehensive care that supports our patients in mind, body and spirit. These treatments include naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, oncology massage, monthly nutrition classes, along with other resources and support.
Since its inception in 2009, the Integrative Cancer Care Program has become an integral part of the care many of our medical and radiation oncology patients receive and has shown significant growth in patient participation over the past several years. In 2022, the program had a record number of eight providers, servicing three different integrative cancer therapeutic methods as well as offering nutritional classes.
Despite physician support and patient interest in our program, insurance coverage remains limited. This is largely due to lack of coverage by Medicare and Medicaid for complementary medicine services, which requires many patients to pay out-of-pocket for these visits. Unfortunately, many do not have the financial resources to pay for these services, especially when they are already managing the high costs associated with ongoing and necessary oncology care. In keeping with Providence’s Mission to provide high quality care for all, our Integrative Cancer Care Program depends upon philanthropic support to help cover the cost of complementary medicine appointments for underinsured patients and/or those experiencing financial hardship.
The challenge we now face is the increasing demand for these critical services continues to exceed the philanthropic funds we receive annually. To continue to serve the poor and vulnerable, we depend upon philanthropy to provide these services regardless of ability to pay. Increasing our philanthropic resources is critical to continue to provide these services to all patients.
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