by Amanda Patton, ACCC Communications
Nearly 500 oncology professionals gathered in Washington, D.C., last week for the 42nd ACCC Annual Meeting, CANCERSCAPE. Throughout sessions centered on policy, value, and quality, attendees heard a recurrent message: Your experience, perspective, and input on the issues of value-based care, quality measures, and outcomes are essential as the healthcare system and oncology transition to the new world of alternative payment models and value-based care.
From ACCC Capitol Hill Day last Wednesday throughout the meeting sessions, attendees were urged to educate policymakers and payers about the real-world processes involved in delivering quality cancer care.
In the meeting’s opening session, Congressman Rick Nolan (MN-D) called out the vital role ACCC members can play in helping educate legislators and policymakers, “No one can articulate need, challenges, potential to ultimately cure cancer [better] than the people in this room today,” he said.
Can precision medicine be reconciled with value-based care? “Absolutely” said Kavita Patel, MD, MS, of the Brookings Institution. Oncology already delivers personalized (or precision) medicine through targeted therapies for some cancers, she pointed out. Communicating about the oncology care process so that policymakers understand real-world cancer care delivery is imperative, Patel said. Part of that conversation should aim to help policymakers understand the demanding intuitive thought process that is part of today’s oncology care, along with the tremendous amount of information cancer care providers must keep up with given the pace and variety of emerging therapies. “It’s not writing prescriptions,” she said.
Five Key CANCERSCAPE Takeaways
High-level meeting takeaways that interconnect value, policy, and quality include:
- Alignment. For value and quality measures to work in oncology, alignment among payers, providers, and patients is essential.
- Put your data to work. Cancer programs and practices are finding ways to harness their data to improve quality patient-centered care and reduce costs. In a presentation on Collaboration Across Specialties to Improve Care and Curb Costs, Matthew Manning, MD, from Cone Health demonstrated how his program used data to identify “hotspotters,” assess gaps in care, improve outcomes, and reduce costs.
- Communicate. Support conversations across silos and among stakeholders. Engage with patients to understand their goals of care and to define value and quality. While value frameworks are generic, “all patients are different” agreed panelists in a Town Hall discussion on Value Framework Tools.
- Be proactive. Don’t wait until USP Chapter 800 goes into effect to assess your facilities readiness. Don’t wait until HRSA issues its final 340B mega-regulation. Take steps today to assess your program’s compliance. “Be prepared” was also the message in a Biosimilars Update from Nisha Pherwani, PharmD, BCOP, clinical director of Oncology, Cardinal Health. She urged attendees to:
- Understand the FDA approval process for biosimilars
- Provide a concise review to your P&T committee
- Review the FDA guidances on biosimilars
- Stay tuned for more on how interchangeability will impact regulations.
- Speak up. Oncology providers can best articulate the care they provide and the issues impacting care delivery. Leadership in oncology has to step forward to help define quality and value and inform policy. Work with ACCC to make your voice heard.
This week’s CMS release of a proposed rule designed to test new Medicare Part B drug payment models makes clear the critical need for the oncology community stay on top of what is happening among policymakers in Washington, D.C. ACCC has voiced strong opposition to CMS’s proposal. Among other concerns, ACCC points to the lack of opportunity for stakeholder input on the development of this proposal.
ACCC urges its members speak up and ask Congress to stop the CMS Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model. Click here to contact your legislators.