FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Communications & Marketing
301.984.9496 ext. 226
For Immediate Release: February 7, 2006
INVITATION TO ATTEND
Leaders of Nation's Cancer Programs and Oncology Practices to Gather for Association of Community Cancer Centers' 32nd Annual National Meeting
NCI Director Andrew von Eschenbach and CMS Officials to address attendees
ROCKVILLE, Md.—Leaders from the nation’s hospital-based cancer programs and oncology practices will gather to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the future of cancer care at the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) 32nd Annual National Meeting on March 14-17, 2006. The meeting will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.
“A key concern for cancer programs in 2006 is the continuing reduction to Medicare reimbursement,” said ACCC Executive Director Christian Downs, JD, MHA. “Hospitals were disappointed to find that the complex activities associated with preparing and mixing chemotherapy drugs in their pharmacies would not be recognized and reimbursed by Medicare. With some hospitals projecting losses of up to a $1 million from reimbursement cuts, we are concerned that hospitals may respond by cutting vital services and key personnel, such as social workers and oncology nurses, each needed for providing quality cancer care.”
At the same time reimbursement restraints in coming years may threaten physician offices. “While physician office payment reductions were averted this year,” said Downs, “anticipated cuts over the next several years may have a negative impact on the availability of care for Medicare patients in some physician practices.”
You are invited to attend ACCC’s 32nd Annual National Meeting, “Strategies & Tools for Quality Care,” which will explore how cancer programs and oncology practices are coping with today’s challenges, including changes in Medicare reimbursement, Medicare Part D, quality care and safety measures, and acquiring new, expensive technologies in an increasingly restrictive reimbursement environment.
March 15, 8:00 am
Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, will deliver the keynote address. A nationally recognized urologic surgeon, Dr. von Eschenbach leads an NCI staff of 4,500 scientists, clinicians, administrators, and investigators.
Affording the New Technology of Quality Cancer Care
March 15, 10:00 to 11:30 am
New technologies are offering significant advances for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and promise measurable benefits in patient outcomes and improved quality of care. While new technologies may hold great promise, some come with price tags of $1 million or more. A panel of experts will explore how cancer programs should assess and plan strategically for the adoption of new technologies. Plus, roundtable discussions (1:00 to 2:00 pm) will focus on implementation of specific new technologies, including Gamma Knife vs. CyberKnife, Robotics, Imaging, Image Guided Radiation Therapy, and Genetic Testing and Pharmacogenomics.
Measuring Quality Cancer Care
March 15, 1:00 to 2:15 pm
Officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will describe the agency’s vision for evidence-based medicine, including how data from the Quality of Cancer Care Demonstration will be used to measure quality care and set coverage and payment policies. The panel will also discuss new developments on the widely anticipated release of a revised coverage with evidence document and its application on coverage policies and off-label drug use.
Cancer Economics in 2006
March 16, 10:45 am to 12:15 pm
A panel will explore how Medicare payment policies are directly affecting their hospitals and oncology practices. Plus, a look at ACCC advocacy efforts.
Patient Safety: 100,000 Lives Campaign
March 16, 2:00 to 3:30 pm
An innovative approach is improving patient safety in hospitals and cancer programs: More than 3,000 hospitals have joined the “100,000 Lives Campaign,” launched by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Rapid response teams and medication reconciliation are saving the lives of patients with cancer.
March 17, 8:45 to 9:45 am
Presenter Rebecca DeKay knows first-hand the value of disaster planning. As Director of Oncology Services of the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in Shreveport, La., Ms. DeKay helped assure the continuity of care for cancer patients displaced after Hurricane Katrina. She will recount her experiences and help cancer programs develop their own disaster plans.
March 17, 10:00 to 11:00 am
Hospital oncology programs are gaining a quality, safety, and performance edge by adapting business ideas based on the Toyota Production System. The new management approach maximizes value and eliminates waste. LEAN principles can strengthen cancer programs and maximize patient outcomes.
The Association of Community Cancer Centers provides a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, such as regulatory and legislative issues, measurements of the quality of care, and clinical research. Its unique membership of more than 650 hospital cancer programs and oncology private practices includes all members of the cancer care team: medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, oncology nurses, pharmacists, radiation therapists, oncology social workers, and cancer program data managers.
ACCC is the premier education and advocacy organization for the oncology team. The Association promotes the continuum of quality cancer care (research, prevention, screening, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, psychosocial services, rehabilitation, and hospice). It encourages comprehensive interdisciplinary community cancer program development and provides education about approaches for the effective management, delivery, and financing of comprehensive cancer care. The Association has proactively worked with state and federal government on behalf of cancer patients and their families on issues of access to appropriate treatment and to clinical trials. ACCC has been a major advocate of developing state-level advocacy groups to work with state government, third-party intermediaries, and other insurers who are usually organized at the state level.