What you need to know about advanced wellness centers
Health officials in the US and Canada have ordered hospitals to close their advanced wellness facilities, and a group of leading American and Canadian physicians say the move will force them to abandon many of their patients, including people with cancer.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday ordered the closure of all of the world’s first advanced wellness programs, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) are among the healthcare organizations that are joining in, according to the New York Times.
The move comes as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would soon move toward ending Medicare Advantage, the health plan that provides health insurance for millions of older Americans.
The federal health agencies have been working to close down Medicare Advantage since 2017.
It was the first program that allowed seniors to keep a large portion of their health care costs covered by government insurance, but it also led to massive increases in the costs of care, including in the cost of cancer screenings and the cost for surgeries.
The centers that currently exist in the United States have long been viewed as the most innovative centers in the country, with the hope of being the only place where a person with cancer could receive care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health care providers have said they see an emerging demand for advanced wellness services in this country.
The National Cancer Council (NCC), which oversees the nation’s cancer research and treatment, said it would close five centers in California and Washington state and close the other three in Arizona.
In addition, the NCC said it will shut down five facilities in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Washington.
The National Association of Hospital Directors (NAHDB) said it is also closing facilities in Colorado, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota and Utah.
In an article published on Wednesday, the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which represents more than 400,000 surgeons, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, called on all providers of advanced health care to stop offering advanced wellness care.
In addition to the closure, ACS president and CEO Richard Brodess wrote in the article that the closure “would mean the loss of thousands of health care professionals and thousands of patients, most of them seniors who are already struggling with their own health care needs.”
“The future of this critical public health work is at stake,” he wrote.
The American Medical Association has also called on hospitals to stop providing advanced wellness.
In a statement released on Thursday, the AMA called on physicians, hospital executives, and hospitals to follow the ACA’s “recommended steps” to close the facilities.
“The ACS has long supported the need for comprehensive health care coverage for all Americans, including for all individuals with cancer,” the statement read.
“Hospitals and health care facilities that provide advanced health services must work with the federal government to ensure that their patients are not harmed by the closure.
We strongly urge health care systems to immediately close the centers and immediately resume care for the patients and their families.
The ACS has a long history of standing up to the demands of the ACA, and we look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to achieve the goals of the law.”
The American Cancer Society said it was working with the American Hospital Association and other allied health care organizations to “provide additional information and resources” to the ACS.
The ACS also said in a statement on Thursday that it is continuing to fight for access to the best care for all patients and families.
The NCI, in a letter to the Centers for Health Care Policy and Innovation, said that “the elimination of advanced care centers and the subsequent closure of the entire NCI network are not a result of the Affordable Care Act.
We have not closed these facilities or closed our networks.””NCI continues to advocate for the full availability of advanced healthcare and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the best possible care for our patients,” the NCI wrote.