Medical-Legal Partnerships in Cancer Care

  • Tomas Bednar
  • Domna Antoniadis


This chapter provides an overview of the medical-legal partnership (MLP) service delivery model, which integrates legal services into healthcare settings as a means of addressing the legal aspects of patients’ social determinants of health. It introduces the underlying concepts that drive MLPs, including the five “I-HELP” legal needs categories, and contextualizes them in the world of cancer care. The chapter then provides a basic introduction to the cancer-specific legal needs of low-income cancer patients for each of the five categories: income, housing, education and employment, legal status, and personal and familial stability. Each legal “snapshot” discusses the legal principles of each need, how those principles apply to cancer patients, and how an interdisciplinary MLP model can use those principles to address the needs of its patients. The discussion is intended to educate cancer providers on the MLP model as well as provide practical advocacy tips. It concludes with two case vignettes that demonstrate how MLP intervention can improve patient’s overall well-being and quality of life.


Medical-legal partnerships Social determinants of health Legal needs Cancer Legal determinants of health Law Legal aid and health National Center for Medical-Legal Partnerships 



Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


Advance care planning


Americans with Disabilities Act


Administrative law judge


Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act


Compassionate allowance


Child health insurance program


Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


Fair Housing Act


Family Medical Leave Act


Federal poverty level


Healthcare power of attorney


Initial enrollment period


Income, housing and utilities, education and employment, legal status, personal and familial stability


Legal permanent resident


Medicare advantage


Modified adjusted gross income


Medical-legal partnership

National Center

National Center for Medical-Legal Partnerships


Out-of-pocket expenses


Financial power of attorney


Permanent residence under color of law


Personal responsibility and work opportunity reconciliation action


Social determinants of health


Substantial gainful activity


Social security administration


Social security disability


Supplemental security income


Temporary assistance for needy families


Terminal illness cases


Trial work period


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomas Bednar
    • 1
  • Domna Antoniadis
    • 2
  1. 1.PhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.New York Legal Assistance GroupNew YorkUSA

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