Interior hero background

Altru Cancer Center’s Financial Navigator Saves Patients More Than $21 Million

Posted OnMarch 17, 2022

Grand Forks, N.D. — Patients who seek treatment at Altru Cancer Center have saved millions of dollars in the last couple of years, thanks to a financial navigator named Brittany Scheer.

“I find my job very rewarding. It makes it very easy to come to work,” shared Scheer. “Cancer is stressful enough. A person doesn’t need the excess burden of paying for their treatment.”

Scheer uses drug manufacturers’ patient assistance programs and grants to lower the cost of treatments for cancer. In 2020, she helped save patients $9.9 million on oral and infused medications. In 2021, that number rose to $11.5 million. In those two years, Scheer has helped more than 320 families.

“A lot of patients are super appreciative,” added Scheer. “I hear it all the time that they wouldn’t be able to afford treatment without some kind of help.”

When patients seek care for cancer at Altru, their care team immediately connects them with Scheer. If the patient has been prescribed a new medication and the co-pay is high on the insurance or the insurance won’t cover it, Scheer sets to work securing financial assistance. “Some patients don’t realize how expensive these medications are until I’m calling to tell them what their co-pay is going to be on their medication,” said Scheer.

If grants are available, Scheer can get the application completed, submitted and approved in as little as one day. If the best option is a program through a drug manufacturer, applications can be submitted and approved in a couple of weeks.

The income threshold for these types of financial assistance programs is quite high since the medications are costly.

“I always encourage patients to apply. Even if they are over income, there are usually certain ways we can still get them approved, even if they just pay for one fill out of pocket, and then we can get them approved for the rest of the year,” informed Scheer.

About Altru Health System
Based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Altru Health System is a physician-led, multispecialty group practice with an acute care hospital, Level II trauma center, specialty hospital, more than two dozen Grand Forks and regional practice locations, and a large home care network. Altru Health System was the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, extending Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise to the patients we serve. For more information, visit