AccessHope strikes up new partnership to expand cancer expertise for employers

AccessHope, a cancer benefits company for employers, announced Wednesday a new collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (Fred Hutch) to expand access to cancer expertise in the Northwest.

Duarte, California-based AccessHope is a subsidiary of the City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment organization. It works with employer health plans to provide a benefit that helps connect members with cancer to National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. AccessHope offers expert advisory reviews, in which a team of cancer experts reviews an employee’s case and treatment plan to determine if they’re 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 due to confidentiality reasons.

Fred Hutch, the only NCI-Designated Cancer Center in the state of Washington, will provide the expertise for AccessHope’s services. It joins a slew 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 benefit company expand its offerings to employers in Northwest states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana and Wyoming.

“AccessHope’s goal is to continue to close the cancer knowledge gap to improve quality of life and health outcomes for people with cancer,” Sachs wrote in an email. “Novel foundational collaborations, including with Fred Hutch, expand our reach in key geographic areas, such as the Northwest, and bring a shared commitment to increase our reach and impact to individuals across the U.S., helping people with cancer return to their work and lives while striving to reduce unnecessary, inappropriate and wasteful expense.”

The company’s competitors include expert medical opinion vendors like Grand Rounds, health plans like UnitedHealthcare and Cigna and regional center of excellence models. But what differentiates AccessHope is that it focuses specifically on cancer, and it provides its services remotely so patients don’t have to travel, according to Sachs.

“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 anyone who is 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 enhances that goal.”

Photo: FatCamera, Getty Images

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