Florida Society of Clinical Oncology Advocates Emergency Medicaid Coverage for Puerto Rico’s Cancer Patients in Florida

November 8, 2017… The Florida Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO) delivered a letter to Senator Marco Rubio today, urging lawmakers to work with the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide emergency local Medicaid coverage to cancer patients from Puerto Rico who have come to the U.S. mainland seeking refuge, so they may continue getting cancer treatment in Florida.  FLASCO President Dr. Richard McDonough and Director of Patient Advocacy Dr. Michael Diaz, who sees patients at Florida Cancer Specialists locations in Pinellas County, explained that Puerto Rico’s Medicaid Coverage does not normally extend to treatment outside the island; however, cancer patients who came to Florida following the devastation from Hurricane Maria have no other options.  The letter states: “We have been fortunate to date with providing cancer care in Florida, given this humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. However, despite our best efforts, we have received reports from the Puerto Rico oncologists…that they have had patients who have returned to Puerto Rico as they are unable to receive cancer care after seeking refuge on the U.S. mainland.” 

Read Letter to Senator Marco Rubio