National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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July NCCN Policy Summit to Focus on Measuring Quality in Oncology Care

Jessica DeMartino, PhD, Manager, Health Policy Programs

On July 12, 2013, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) will host the NCCN Policy Summit: Measuring Quality in Oncology – Challenges and Opportunities at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Variations in the quality of cancer care are well documented, and a key element of quality monitoring is standardized measures of care. Quality measures may include both process measures and outcome measures. Process measurement is only one aspect of assessing the quality of cancer care; measuring outcomes and providing the appropriate structure for care are also important. Quality measures can be used for both self-assessment and external review of the quality of care.

Payers and purchasers of health care often utilize standardized measures as they seek to ensure their beneficiaries are receiving high quality cancer care for a reasonable cost. Both public and private payers are placing a greater emphasis on quality, oftentimes by linking reimbursement to quality. In response to this growing trend to demonstrate value, payers, professional organizations, and provider groups have begun to create metrics based on both the literature and established guidelines. Quality measures that quantify the patient experience are also becoming increasingly popular.

The Summit, to be moderated by Clifford Goodman, PhD, of the Lewin Group, will include speakers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), RAND Health, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, WellPoint, and Genentech. This policy summit will provide a forum for stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities for measuring quality care in oncology. Expert panel members will examine the current efforts toward developing quality measures, and discuss the value of those measures, as well as whether such measures have resulted in improvement in patient care. Further, stakeholders will explore how quality is viewed after a cancer diagnosis from a variety of perspectives, and consider the impact of new care delivery and payment models on quality cancer care.

For more information on the NCCN Oncology Policy Program, visit NCCN.org. If you are interested in attending, please contact Jessica DeMartino, Manager, Health Policy Programs.