FORT WASHINGTON, Pa., March 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) held its second annual State Oncology Society Forum during the NCCN 18th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care™. The inaugural meeting held in 2012 provided attendees with an overview of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) and strategies for effective use relative to informatics needs, and coverage and reimbursement challenges within the oncology community.
The 2013 State Oncology Society Forum agenda included discussions of health information technology, the oncology medical home, new reimbursement models, and an introduction to the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™.
"NCCN is pleased to work with state oncology societies and the clinicians they represent," said C. Lyn Fitzgerald, Vice President, U.S. and Global Development, NCCN. "This annual meeting provides a forum for open dialogue, an exchange of best practices, and the identification of areas for collaboration. Fundamental to the success of this program are the shared core values of the state oncology societies and NCCN, which is to improve the lives of patients with cancer. We look forward to a continued alliance with these essential stakeholders."
Following introductions, Marcus Neubauer, MD, Medical Director, Oncology Services, McKesson Specialty Health, joined Patricia J. Goldsmith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NCCN, in a discussion about an enhanced oncology solution, Clear Value Plus, that will provide oncologists with an oncology quality support system by allowing them to access the most recent evidence available in the delivery of high-quality cancer care.
Specifically discussed was the development of enhanced oncology pathways—Value Pathways Powered by NCCN—delivered through innovative technology and built upon The US Oncology Network Level I Pathways. Anchored in clinical quality and evidence-based medicine, Value Pathways Powered by NCCN aims to align quality and value as an important step forward in helping to ensure that patients receive the highest quality treatment while offering options to address the costs of cancer care. These enhanced oncology solutions, they noted, will enable new forms of transparent provider and payer relationships.
"Value Pathways Powered by NCCN are being developed by physicians for physicians using the best science available for improved efficacy and lower toxicities," said Dr. Neubauer. "They will reflect the collaborative effort of nearly 2,000 physicians and oncology researchers affiliated with NCCN Guidelines Panels and The US Oncology Network."
The forum continued as Bruce Gould, MD, President and Medical Director, Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, P.C. (NGOC), Vice President of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), and Chair of the COA Oncology Medical Home (OMH) Steering Committee provided an update on the OMH.
"There are three key attributes of the Oncology Medical Home," said Dr. Gould. "The clinical team coordinates the patient care, which leads to an enhanced patient experience, and the OMH provides payers with better value for their health care dollars. Finally, OMH aligns financial incentives so community oncology practices can stay independent and expert care stays close to home."
Lee Newcomer, MD, Senior Vice President, Oncology, Genetics and Women's Health, UnitedHealthcare, described the evolution and progress of the implementation of alternative payment and reimbursement models currently under consideration.
Dr. Newcomer explained that, by 2017, it is projected that an American with average income will have to turn more than 50 percent of it over to pay for medical costs. In order to combat these statistics and create success with new payment models, he commented further, oncology stakeholders must collaborate to understand the economics of oncology practice, standardize processes, and provide leadership.
Another innovative resource discussed at this year's forum was the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™, which was launched by NCCN in December 2012. Christine MacCracken, MSHEd, BSN, Senior Director, Business Insights, NCCN, presented an overview of the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™, which was developed to identify the appropriate use of biomarkers to screen, diagnose, monitor, and provide predictive and prognostic information for the treatment of patients.
Finally, Christian Downs, JD, MHA, Association of Community Cancer Centers, facilitated a group discussion on methods of fostering meaningful collaboration between the state oncology societies and NCCN, including how the societies can form stronger alliances with NCCN Member Institutions in their states.
The next State Oncology Society Forum is planned to be held at the NCCN 19th Annual Conference in March 2014.
About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 23 of the world's leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of care provided to patients with cancer. 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. As the arbiter of 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. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives.
The NCCN Member Institutions are: City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; UNMC Eppley Cancer Center at The Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN.
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Source: National Comprehensive Cancer Network