As the U.S. surpasses 500,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, people with cancer continue to unsurprisingly be hesitant to visit a provider office or hospital for treatment. So, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is working with CVS Health to bring therapies into certain patients’ homes, helping keep immunocompromised people safer and allowing them to continue much-needed cancer treatment.
Multiple studies have shown how the pandemic has affected all aspects of cancer care, from screening and diagnostic workups to actual oncology treatments, follow-up services and patient support (RSP 6/20, p. 1). “The COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges for immunocompromised patients with cancer looking for ways to safely continue their care while minimizing their exposure to the virus,” explains Sree Chaguturu, M.D., senior vice president at CVS Health and chief medical officer at CVS Caremark. “CTCA is seeing a 50% reduction in infusions, and, while a slight delay in treatments may have been appropriate at the pandemic’s onset, data is now pointing to increased mortality risk with every month of delayed care. There is a critical need for providing in-home therapy where possible to safely treat patients who are immunocompromised.”