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NCCN Holds Fourth Annual State Oncology Society Forum

The fourth annual state oncology society forum, held in conjunction with NCCN’s 20th Annual Conference, examined accountable care, payment reform, and best practices from community oncologists.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) held its fourth annual State Oncology Society Forum during the NCCN 20th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care™, facilitating discussions about coordinated care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and payment reform, as well as presentations from various state oncology societies on best practices for palliative care, marketing and member awareness, virtual tumor boards, and peer development opportunities. Attendees were also given updates on various NCCN initiatives, including new NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) derivative products and Value Pathways Powered by NCCN.

The Forum commenced with opening remarks from Samuel M. Silver, MD, PhD, Chair, NCCN Board of Directors, and Former President, Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology (MISHO), following which Sree Chaguturu, MD, Vice President, Population Health Management, Partners Healthcare, discussed considerations for approaching drug innovations from  the perspective of population health management at accountable care organizations (ACOs).

Using Partners Healthcare—a Massachusetts ACO—as a case brief, Dr. Chaguturu discussed how, in a time of inflating specialty drug costs, oncology engagement on medical management through pathways will be of primary importance. Proactive response, he said, will prevent reactive consequences.

The Forum continued as Louis Jacques, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, ADVI, discussed Medicare payment reform. Dr. Jacques opened the discussion with the premise that costs for the development of oncology agents may be unsustainable going forward and that “value” is an elusive and relative target.  Regardless of the definition, determining such value for each stakeholder may require a paradigm shift in how these agents are developed and accessed in the future.  

Dr. Jacques also explored the comparison of fee-for-service reimbursement plans currently in place with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with the more innovative Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center) Oncology Care Model (OCM), which is a performance-based reimbursement model that rewards providers for efficient care on an episodic basis.

Representatives of the state societies of Florida, Maryland/DC, Idaho, and Pennsylvania then presented on best practices that have led to improvements and efficiencies in patient care, as well as increased membership engagement and peer development.

First, Gerardo Colon-Otero, MD, Former President, Florida Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO), presented findings from a four-year palliative care training program for oncology mid-level providers. This program, which highlighted early intervention and advance directives, directly acknowledged patient- and practice-related concerns and led to more coordinated care and improved quality of life and patient satisfaction.

Pat Troy, Executive Director, Maryland/District of Columbia Society of Clinical Oncology (MDCSCO), then presented a marketing tool utilized by MDCSCO membership for general awareness, as well as membership recruitment, engagement, and retention. This tool, a budget-friendly “viewbook”, is an easily updatable collateral piece that highlights the MDCSCO mission, policy issues, and events, as well as features membership and sponsorship information.

The initiation of a Virtual Tumor Board program was presented by Binay Shah, MD, President, Idaho Society of Clinical Oncology (ISCO). Virtual Tumor Boards, held monthly via a web-based meeting platform, offer community oncologists the opportunity to present particular patient cases and discuss best practices in a collaborative virtual environment.  

In the final best practices presentation, Peg O’Grady, RN, MSN, FAAMA, President, Pennsylvania Society of Oncology and Hematology (PSOH), discussed the PSOH Annual Education Program, which offers residents and fellows the opportunity to develop, implement, and present studies, therefore, offering these students career development and preparation for national meetings.

Following the best practices presentations, Marcus Neubauer, MD, Director of Oncology Services, McKesson Specialty Health, presented key developments within the Value Pathways Powered by NCCN since it was first introduced to this stakeholder group two years ago, including plans for Radiation Oncology Pathways Powered by NCCN. Based on the recommendations in the NCCN Guidelines®, these radiation oncology pathways are scheduled to launch in late 2015. Clear Value Plus, a user-friendly, integrated provider solution, delivers insights directly to existing electronic health record (EHR) workflow. McKesson Specialty Health, noted Dr. Neubauer, is collaborating with major EHR vendors to ensure that Clear Value Plus remains a cohesive tool for existing EHR customers.

Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN, delivered the final presentation of the Forum, highlighting notable enhancements in NCCN Resources such as the preliminary publication of NCCN Guidelines for Resources Stratification and the integration of evidence blocks into NCCN Guidelines. Other developments noted by Dr. Carlson include the publication of a “when to test” field in the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium®, as well as plans for an NCCN Radiation Oncology Compendium and Imaging Compendium. These resources, he said, should be available in late 2015.

More than 35% of the State Oncology Societies participated in this year’s Forum, representing commitment from State Oncology leadership to ongoing dialogue and collaboration with NCCN.

“The annual NCCN State Oncology Society Forum plays an integral part in the consideration of new NCCN resources and programs, especially related to the expressed needs of the community oncology stakeholders,” said C. Lyn Fitzgerald, MJ, Vice President, U.S. &  Global Development, NCCN. “Community oncologists play an essential role in the advancement of quality care for people with cancer, and we look forward to identification of future areas of collaboration.”

For more information about the NCCN State Oncology Society Forum, visit NCCN.org.


About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of 30 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. By defining and advancing high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers around the world.

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope National Medical Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB
  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital