President Bush Signs ‘Patient Navigator’ Legislation
President Bush on Wednesday signed into law a bill that will establish a "patient navigator" system to help patients with chronic illnesses make medical decisions, CongressDaily reports (Rovner, CongressDaily, 6/30). The law authorizes $25 million in grants over five years to establish patient navigator programs to aid uninsured patients in low-income and rural communities nationwide.
Under the system, counselors will help patients evaluate their treatment options, enroll in clinical trials, obtain referrals and apply for financial assistance (California Healthline, 6/24). Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who co-sponsored the legislation with Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), said, "This is a textbook example of how the legislative process should work" (CongressDaily, 6/30).