Blogs

Be the first person to recommend this.
Each year, in conjunction with the   ACCC Annual Meeting and Cancer Center Business Summit , ACCC members come to Washington, D.C., for our   Capitol Hill Day . Across the board, these members tell us how much they’ve enjoyed this unique opportunity to meet in small groups, or even one-on-one, with their legislators and congressional staffers to talk about challenges—and successes—at their cancer programs or practices. More important, our members say how much they value these in-person meetings because they are empowered to advocate on behalf of their cancer patients, cancer services for their communities, and access to quality cancer care. This year, participating ...
0 comments

Lee's Legacy

Be the first person to recommend this.
On December 3, 2018, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and the Oncology State Society Network (OSSN) lost a life-long friend, Lee E. Mortenson, DPA. Lee was ACCC’s Executive Director for nearly 30 years, serving in this role until 2004. The story of his service and legacy to ACCC mirrors not only the history of the Association itself, but also the transformations in oncology and healthcare over the years—from the first days of the “War on Cancer” until today. In an article published in 2004 marking ACCC’s 30 th   anniversary, Lee described those early days: “In 1974, when we first came together, medical oncology was not yet a formalized ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
A  report  released last week at the  American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)  annual national policy forum in Washington, D.C., finds that only 27 percent of patients have access to clinical trials close to where they are receiving treatment.  In this new landscape report, “ Barriers to Patient Enrollment in Therapeutic Clinical Trials for Cancer ,” existing key research and knowledge on barriers to trial participation are brought together and analyzed to better understand how these barriers relate to each other, as well as how each contributes to the problem. ACS CAN offers the report as a resource for discussions and action steps for ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
April 9-13, 2018, is designated   National Cancer Registrars Week . The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is pleased to recognize its cancer registrar members and the important, increasingly sophisticated role that the profession plays to advance cancer prevention, research, and treatment both locally and nationally. From ensuring data accuracy to providing meaningful information to advance care, these oncology data information specialists continue to support the delivery of quality care in an era focused on data and reporting. In honor of National Cancer Registrars Week, ACCC is pleased to spotlight some recent contributions from ACCC-member ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Over the last months, my ACCCBuzz blog posts have covered navigation documentation tools, orientation needs, patient education, and the value navigators bring to a cancer program. Navigators support patient-centered, coordinated, streamlined access to care. But what about the support navigators themselves need in order to provide the best possible care for the patients and their families while juggling a host of other responsibilities? This was a hot topic of discussion during a recent Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) Navigation Metrics Subcommittee meeting.   My answer to this question takes me back four years. At that time I was ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
What is the greatest opportunity for innovation to ensure that cancer care will be accessible, affordable, and convenient? Opening last week’s  ACCC 44th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit (AMCCBS)  in Washington, D.C., Harlan Levine, MD, President Strategy and Business Ventures, City of Hope, moderated a distinguished panel challenged with answering this question: Barbara McAneny, MD, FASCO, MACP, President-Elect of the American Medical Association (AMA); Anand Shah, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI); Roy Beveridge, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Humana, ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The oncology community has experienced dramatic marketplace consolidation over the last several years.     For some physician practices this consolidation has given rise to new partnerships with hospitals and health systems; while for others it has meant outright purchase by a hospital or health system. Still, many physician practices have embraced the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care, experiencing great success under alternative payment models, such as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s   Oncology Care Model (OCM) . Learn from three of these forward-thinking practices during a panel session, “Physician Practice Models ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In res ponse t o the tsunami of change, innovation, and uncertainty underway across our healthcare system, new business mode ls, relationships, and technologies in cancer care delivery are emerging. At the  ACCC 44th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit, March 14-16 , thought leaders and stakeholders in oncology with expertise in business, quality, technology, and policy will come together to explore trends, strategies, and provocative questions about the best way forward. As an example: Is regional cancer care delivery the next step in cost effective, coordinated care?   Read on for perspectives from Mathew Sturm, associate principal, ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In honor of World Cancer Day, February 4th, ACCC asked guest blogger Dr. Paul Goss, founder of the Global Cancer Institute (GCI), to share how GCI's new patient navigation program is helping to accelerate care for breast cancer patients in Mexico. At 77 years old, Juana was diagnosed with breast cancer. She lived in a remote village outside Mexico City, and was sent to a city hospital for treatment. Fortunately for Juana, that hospital had a new Patient Navigation program, organized by the  Global Cancer Institute  (GCI) and modeled after a U.S. protocol to help accelerate cancer patients’ path to treatment. Thanks to her Patient Navigator, Juana was seen ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By the calendar year, we’re only a month into 2018, but the clinical landscape of immuno-oncology (I-O) continues to evolve according to its own accelerating time frame, changing the face of cancer care and advancing our understanding of the complex relationship between the immune system and cancers. If we pause to look back through the calendar pages of 2017, we see that cancer immunotherapies realized significant responses and durable remissions with monotherapy and combination treatment across several tumors types—melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and urothelial cancer. Two CAR-T therapies captured the headlines receiving FDA ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
On August 21, 2017, ACCC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the agency’s  proposed 2018 updates  to the Quality Payment Program (QPP), a two-track value-based reimbursement system created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The two tracks in which eligible clinicians can opt to participate are the enhanced fee-for-service based  Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)  and  Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) , which require clinicians to take on more than nominal risk. Under the QPP, 2017 performance will affect Medicare payments for all eligible clinicians in 2019. ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
As we continue to better understand the many diseases encompassed under the name, “cancer,” we are also seeing an increase in the number and complexity of anti-cancer treatments. These exciting advances are taking place while cancer programs are striving to empower patients with education about their diagnosis and treatment journey and continually improve the patient experience of care. In this guest blog post, Dr. James Weese, vice president, Aurora Cancer Care, describes his program’s   2017 ACCC Innovator Award   winning approach. The Challenge Oncologists, nurses, and other cancer care staff across the country work tirelessly to find the best way ...
1 comment
1 person recommends this.
Healthcare professionals are known for hiding their grief. There is an unspoken (though outdated!) code that we must be strong. Or, put another way, that we just need to get used to it. But with increased recognition of the high risk for burnout among healthcare professionals, this “old code” is coming under scrutiny. Writing about “professional grief,” Elizabeth Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, former executive director of the   National Association of Social Workers   observes that “professional grief is generally hidden grief, grief that is internalized and not openly expressed . . . . There’s no natural outlet and demands of work overshadow it.” Grief that ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, of the Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), held a hearing titled, “Examining HRSA’s Oversight of the 340B Drug Pricing Program.”   Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)   is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that currently oversees the   340B Drug Pricing Program . The program’s inception in 1992 sought to provide discounted outpatient drugs to “covered entities” (DSH facilities, rural referral centers, freestanding cancer centers, non-profit hospitals, etc.) who provide a certain level of ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
At the end of last week, it was anticipated that the U.S. Senate would hold a vote on the Senate Republicans’   revised version   of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) today, Tuesday, July 18. However, over the weekend,  Senator John McCain (R-AZ) underwent an emergency surgery and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the vote on BCRA would be postponed until Senator McCain’s return to Washington, D.C. With two Senators, Rand Paul (R-KY) and Susan Collins (R-ME), already openly opposed to voting ‘Yes’ on BCRA—Senator McCain’s absence would have put the Republican Senators’ vote on the bill at risk. In order to continue the ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
It’s been quite a week in Washington, D.C.  Let’s recap. On Wednesday, July 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held the latest in a series of webinars explaining the agency’s   proposed rule   for CY 2018 updates to MACRA’s Quality Payment Program. If you missed ACCC’s webinar on the implications of this proposed rule, members can   access the webinar, presentation slides, and a summary [login required] . On Thursday morning, July 13, U.S. Senate Republicans unveiled their  revised draft  of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). The updated bill is the latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
       “I want to be aware of the navigator and support services as soon as possible.” This is a frequent response from patients when asked about the optimum point in the cancer care journey to learn about navigation and support services. And yet, during a first visit (or intake interview) with a patient, navigators may question how much to review. Where is the balance between too much information and not enough?  Based on my experience in care coordination and patient navigation, here’s my perspective on creating and using an intake assessment tool. Number 1 Rule:  Assess if the patient is ready for this discussion.   First, provide support. ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
For more than 30 years the world of oncology nursing and the patients we care for has been bound by the expectations of the known effects of chemotherapy on the human body. While these toxicities can be difficult and, at times, even life threatening, for the most part they are predictable. As experienced oncology nurses, we know that after a certain number of days the patient blood counts will likely drop. Our patients being treated with chemotherapy anticipate that they may experience nausea, diarrhea, bone pain, and other side effects. For the most part, with chemotherapy we can expect a logical start, progression, and end to toxicities. Immuno-Oncology ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Last Thursday, June 22, Senate Republicans publicly unveiled their discussion draft legislation titled, the Better Care Reconciliation Act —their version of the House’s recently passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) (H.R. 1628). Neither bill was drafted under regular order, as Republicans try to maintain steam in pushing forward with the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Unfortunately, for multiple stakeholders, including many of those within the cancer care community, it is questionable how much the Republican Caucus sought patient and provider feedback to incorporate into their bills. Although there was much speculation that the ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Unfortunately, nurse navigation services are typically non-revenue generating, necessitating a cost/benefit evaluation of these services for many programs. To justify nurse navigation in this new era of value-based care, we must define appropriate caseload volumes through risk stratification, and determine how best to allocate nurse navigation time and resources among those caseloads. How Best to Measure & Define Acuity? Acuity tools have been used in healthcare for decades and have proven successful as a means of determining staffing needs, improving patient care, and controlling costs.  Most acuity tools score patients on a scale of specific ...
0 comments