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CAREpath - OTIP

Answers to Your Questions

Who is CAREpath?

CAREpath is a Canadian company that specializes in cancer care. The company was founded in 2003 by leading oncology doctors and nurses who have devoted their entire medical careers to cancer care in Canada and the United States. With their unsurpassed expertise, the CAREpath founders designed programs to provide an unprecedented level of guidance and support for all Canadians. CAREpath is designed to help you and your family members get the emotional and medical support you need to deal with a cancer diagnosis, its treatment, and the many issues arising afterwards.

CAREpath is a privately owned company providing service administered independent of OTIP and your employer and is devoted to maintaining your privacy.

CAREpath services are currently available to over 650,000 lives. With its head office in Toronto, CAREpath works closely with a National Medical Advisory Board comprised of prominent Canadian oncologists and the CAREpath Research Institute, led by world-renowned cancers researchers to ensure that our services continue to remain at the forefront of evidence-based knowledge around the world.

Why is there a need for CAREpath's cancer related service programs?

Cancer is a complicated disease. The diagnosis, treatment and after care involve a large number of different specialists and treating locations. In the current system there is no one person to facilitate or 'navigate' through the complexities of tests, results and treatment plans. The CAREpath programs provide knowledge and guidance in decision making to provide the best possible outcomes.

How long has CAREpath been in Canada?

CAREpath was founded in Toronto, Ontario in 2003. At that time we also established:

  • A National Medical Advisory Board comprised of prominent oncologists across Canada.
  • An arms-length affiliate, called The CAREpath Research Institute, led by world-renowned investigators, to ensure CAREpath’s services continue to remain at the forefront of evidence-based knowledge around the world.

What does CAREpath offer?

CAREpath’s Cancer Navigation Program assists you in dealing with your newly diagnosed cancer or cancer recurrence. Our Navigation Service helps reduce the physical and emotional impact of a newly diagnosed cancer by ensuring your medical and emotional needs are met in a timely and effective manner. The Navigation Services are based on the most up-to-date, reliable and evidence-based information available globally and delivered by highly trained and caring oncology nurses. A site-specific oncologist oversees each case.

CAREpath’s Survivor Support Program helps you to cope with the new physical and emotional changes resulting from your treatment. Cancer survivors are at an elevated risk of developing a recurrence or new cancer. Some survivors may experience late complications from cancer treatment and are prone to other chronic conditions as well. The Survivor Support Program addresses each of these issues. Risk of cancer recurrence is assessed, preventive measures are identified, delayed side effects from cancer treatment are addressed and advice is provided on how to deal with subsequent medical problems. CAREpath advice is based on the most up to date research and delivered individualized to the unique needs of each survivor.

CAREpath has introduced a new service, the CAREpath Cancer Information Line, for all eligible OTIP/RTIP members seeking cancer related information for extended family or friends. The service provides basic information on a variety of cancer related topics as well as direction to appropriate web sites that will supply more specific information. The CAREpath Cancer Information Line is available exclusively for eligible members seeking information on behalf of non-members - i.e. extended family or friends. Should members call seeking cancer related help for themselves or their nuclear family they will be transferred to a CAREpath nurse for more personalized assistance.

How do CAREpath’s Services work?

If you, your spouse or dependent children suspect having cancer, are living with cancer, or have had cancer in the past, CAREpath can help. During your initial call with CAREpath your needs will be assessed and a personal oncology nurse will be assigned to you. Your nurse will schedule telephonic appointments to help guide you through your initial course of treatment, and when treatment has been completed, through the final phase of advice and support as a cancer survivor. Any advice provided is strictly confidential and cannot be shared with your employer, an insurance company or any other party without your consent.

Isn’t CAREpath providing services that I can get from my own doctor?

None of the services provided by CAREpath are covered by OHIP. CAREpath works in collaboration with your family physician to help reduce the negative impact of cancer and to ensure that you are receiving the right treatment, at the right place, and at the right time. This means reviewing your test results and treatment plans to determine the best direction for you. CAREpath services have been designed to supplement, not compete or replace the public healthcare system.

How can my doctor benefit from CAREpath’s Services?

CAREpath will work closely with your doctors to ensure everyone fully understands any recommendations made regarding your care. Your doctors will have an opportunity to consult with leading cancer specialists regarding your care. Doctors are generally appreciative of the assistance we provide. In an independent survey conducted by an insurance company, our clients were asked the question: “….did their treating doctors have a positive outlook on the service provided by CAREpath?”

The answer was uniformly yes and the average rating was 4.9 out of 5.

Can CAREpath help before and after I see an oncologist?

We recommend that you contact CAREpath as soon as you are diagnosed with cancer or have a recurrence of a previously treated cancer. CAREpath can help you before and after your first visit to an oncologist. You will be assigned a personal oncology nurse who will provide:

  • Emotional support
  • Informed answers to all your questions
  • Questions to ask on your first visit to your oncologist
  • Education regarding your treatment options
  • Facilitation of access to a second opinion, when necessary
  • Guidance to alternate treatment locations, if requested or required
  • Advice and support throughout all treatment phases
  • Advice on how you can access other support services, if necessary
  • Assistance in dealing with concerns of your spouse and children
  • After treatment has been completed:
    • A screening test for changes in lifestyle required to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence
    • Advice on reducing delayed effects of treatment, and dealing with other issues you may face as a cancer survivor

How can I be assured of the quality of the advice provided by CAREpath?

In order to ensure the advice is evidence based and produces the best outcomes possible, CAREpath nurses:

  • Are selected for their training, expertise, experience and certification in oncology
  • Have demonstrated ability to deal with clients’ concerns in a compassionate manner
  • Have access to and command of the most up to date, evidence based approaches to management of each type of cancer
  • Have the backing of experienced CAREpath oncologists to assist in dealing with the medical aspects that arise in each case
  • Have access to selected members of the National Medical Advisory Board

Who can access CAREpath’s Navigation Services?

You can access CAREpath services as soon as you are diagnosed. You do not have to submit a disability claim nor do you have to be absent from work or be receiving disability benefits to utilize CAREpath services. Your spouse (common-law partners and same sex couples included) and dependent children up to and including age 25 can also access these services. There is no charge to you to access this service. It is part of your benefits package.

Is CAREpath two-tier medicine?

No. Two tier medicine is when people can pay a doctor more to receive quicker care and can buy private insurance to cover these services. CAREpath is a cancer assistance program. CAREpath nurses navigate clients through the complex public health care system. CAREpath nurses provide emotional support and information to guide clients through cancer diagnosis, treatment and after treatment. None of the services provided by CAREpath are covered by provincial health care plans.

Why doesn’t the Government pay for these services?

Most government funding is directed to complex acute care such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and the newer blockbuster drugs. The government recognizes the importance of nurse navigation for cancer patients, but cannot afford the additional cost to fund the kind of detailed, personalized, and evidence based case management services provided by CAREpath.

Why Call CAREpath?

Why are CAREpath Services needed?

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