National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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NCCN Policy Summit: Value, Access, and Cost of Cancer Care

By Jessica K. DeMartino, PhD, Manager, Health Policy Programs, NCCN

Value is not a simple term to define in cancer care. Though value is often understood as benefits of treatment or quality of care weighed against the economic cost, it has been less clear which costs and benefits must be considered. The combination of increasingly unsustainable rises in the costs of cancer care, the accelerating pace of expensive innovations in oncology, and persistent hope for rescue in patients with life-threatening disease require solutions that incorporate and promote value.

To address mounting concerns about value and access in oncology care, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), as part of its Oncology Policy Program, will host its Policy Summit: Value, Access, and Cost in Cancer Care, on September 11, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Moderated by Scott Gottlieb, MD, American Enterprise Institute, this summit will provide health care providers, government and regulatory organizations, managed care organizations, pharma-biotech companies, and patient advocacy groups with a forum to explore the convergence of access, value, and cost, and the impact of these three elements on the care of people with cancer; the summit will feature three roundtable discussions following the NCCN Work Group reports on access, value, and cost.

The day’s first panel discussion, The Impact of Access on the Treatment of Cancer, will feature the following panelists: Elizabeth Carpenter, Avalere Health; Robert Diasio, MD, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center; Kavita Patel, MD, The Brookings Institution; Mike Taylor, AON Hewitt Health and Benefits; and Julie Wolfson, MD, MPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Value Proposition will feature Joseph Alvarnas, MD, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center; Gwen Darien, Cancer Support Community; Stan Gerson, MD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; Mike Kolodziej, MD, Aetna; and David Rubin, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The final roundtable, The Cost Conundrum, will include Steve Miller, MD, Express Scripts; Barbara Parker, MD, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center; Gayle Petrick, Patient Advocate Foundation; Michael Rabow, MD, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Warren Smedley, MSHA, University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center.

For more information or to register for the summit, please visit