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National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Educational Events & Programs

Policy Summit: Emerging Issues and Opportunities in Health Information Technology

Emerging Issues

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On Monday, June 27, 2016, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) hosted the NCCN Policy Summit: Emerging Issues and Opportunities in Health Information Technology, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The Policy Summit focused on the challenges in utilizing health information technology (HIT) to improve the quality of, and access to, cancer care. A disease as complicated and heterogeneous as cancer often entails complex decision making, multiple handoffs between primary and specialty care providers, and coordination among cancer care team members. The exchange of detailed clinical information among multiple health care providers using different health information systems is commonplace. HIT systems, therefore, must be able to efficiently communicate, exchange data and permit health care professionals to make effective use of the full scope of available electronic health information. The summit provided a place for multi-stakeholders to discuss these topics.

The first speaker, Alexandra Mugge, MPH, Deputy Director of the Division of Health Information at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), detailed moving beyond the Meaningful Use Program towards a Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and discussed the efforts by CMS to support interoperability and data sharing. Following Ms. Mugge’s presentation, a roundtable discussion, moderated by Clifford Goodman, PhD, The Lewin Group, debated the readiness of HIT to support alternative payment models and reporting for precision medicine and quality cancer care. Panelists for the first roundtable included Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, FlatIron Health; Jonathan Hirsch, Syapse; Michael Kolodziej, MD, Aetna; Mia Levy, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center; Alexandra Mugge, MPH, CMS; Marcus Neubauer, MD, McKesson Specialty Health; Allen Roeseler, NantHealth, LLC; and Bret Shillingstad, MD, Epic Systems Corporation.

Greg Simon, JD, Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, provided a National Cancer Moonshot overview in a keynote talk. He discussed Moonshot’s stated goals, notably a public and private-sector collaboration and full government approach to break down HIT silos, expand clinical trials, and improve patient access to quality cancer care. During the second panel discussion, Anthony V. Coletta, MD, MBA, Independence Blue Cross; Mia Levy, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center; Edith Mitchell, MD, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson; Michael Pellini, MD, Foundation Medicine; and Allen Roeseler, NantHealth, LLC, focused on the role of HIT in achieving the stated Moonshot goals and opportunities. Overall, panelists were optimistic that the Moonshot HIT goals can be accomplished over the next five years. Panelists concluded that some of National Cancer Moonshot initiatives are currently being addressed regionally, and Moonshot will provide a common platform to advance quality cancer care on a larger scale.

Lincoln Nadauld, MD, PhD, Medical Director of Cancer Genomics at Intermountain Healthcare delivered the final keynote on Leveraging HIT to Improve Quality of Cancer Care.  While the first two keynotes focused on the HIT regulatory landscape, data sharing and interoperability, and ensuring access to and reporting on quality cancer care, Dr. Nadauld provided a case study of HIT in action to improve cancer care outcomes through precision medicine and telemedicine. The third and final panel included Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, FlatIron Health; Joanne Buzaglo, PhD, Cancer Support Community; Stephen Edge, MD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Thomas Farrington, Prostate Health Education Network, Inc.; Lincoln Nadauld, MD, PhD. Intermountain Healthcare; Michael Pellini, MD, Foundation Medicine; and Kyu Rhee, MD, IBM Corporation. The concluding emerging theme illustrated that although HIT allows physicians to see patients’ medications, recent scans and hospital admission information easier than they could via a paper record, there is a huge opportunity for improvement and unrealized value proposition.  Panelists noted the importance of integrating information meaningfully and efficiently across sites of care, regardless of HIT system or platform, to free physician time with the patient, not detract from it. Lastly, the panel concluded that improved HIT systems should also offer more value-based, personalized care.    

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If you have questions about the NCCN Policy Summit Series, please contact Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, NCCN Policy/Advocacy Fellow.

Supporters included: AmerisourceBergen, ApoBiologix, a Division of ApoPharma, USA, Astellas, AstraZeneca, EMD Serono, Genentech, a Member of the Roche Group, Gilead Sciences, Inc., HELSINN, Incyte Corporation, Janssen Oncology, Medivation, Inc., Novartis Oncology, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., Pharmacyclics LLC, An AbbVie Company, Takeda Oncology, and Teva Oncology.

Sponsors included: AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc, IBM Watson Health, McKesson Specialty Health, and Novocure.

Supported by a grant from ImmunoGen, Inc.

Supported by an independent educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc.