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For Immediate Release: July 14, 2011
Association of Community Cancer Centers’ Survey Spotlights Cancer Program Administrator Responsibilities, Salaries, and Job Satisfaction
ROCKVILLE, Md.—Results from a survey by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) suggest that administrators within the nation’s cancer programs are generally satisfied with their positions, although many report the economy is affecting their ability to access the capital needed to acquire new technologies or expand services.
"Cancer program administrators demonstrate commitment to excellence in cancer care, development and growth of multidisciplinary staff, and provision of comprehensive programs and services," said Thomas Whittaker, MD, FACP, ACCC President. “Their leadership helps create an environment of trust and respect and serves to balance financial concerns with the needs of patients and the communities they serve—even in a difficult economy.”
Fifty-four percent of respondents indicate that the economy is affecting their ability to access the capital needed to acquire new technologies or expand services. (This is down from 64 percent in the 2009 survey.) Of those respondents, half said upgrades/purchase of linear accelerators have been put on hold. This percentage is down from 62 percent in the 2009 survey.
Twenty-five percent report delaying purchase of robotic surgical devices and Cyberknife, while 23 percent report delaying purchasing stereotactic radiosurgery equipment. Other reported technologies that have been put on hold: PET/CT tomotherapy (19 percent) and XOFT brachytherapy (15 percent).
All is not bad news, however. Although a majority of respondents report the economy is affecting their ability to access the capital needed to acquire new technologies or expand services, 64 percent report considering adding or upgrading their EHR system(s), and 56 percent have the funds and are considering adding/upgrading linear accelerators in 2011-2012. At least some are also considering adding PET/CT tomotherapy (10 percent) and Cyberknife, robotic surgery, and XOFT brachytherapy (6 percent each.)
Generally, cancer program administrators seem satisfied with their positions. Ninety-one percent report being “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their jobs. Long-timers (five or more years) number 60 percent of total respondents. And a majority (75 percent) plan to continue in their positions as full-time cancer program administrators.
New administrators are entering the field: About 12 percent have been in their administrator position for one or two years, and another 23 percent have been in their positions for three or four years.
Almost 38 percent of respondents report working with their cancer program to acquire or bring oncology practice(s) in-house. Some are looking to do a professional services agreement with private practice medical oncology groups. Many are in negotiations now to acquire medical oncology practices or have just started using the physician employment model and are still recruiting medical oncologists.
According to survey results, the top three educational/professional and program development responsibilities are: 1) developing and maintaining a strong relationship with physicians and identifying areas for business opportunity and support, 2) maintaining a high-quality image in all programs and services, and 3) evaluating existing services and identifying new program opportunities.
The median annual total salary is $124,000, up about 8.5 percent from $114,000 in 2009. The average annual total salary is $133,794 up about 9 percent from $121,458 over the two years since the last survey.
In April 2011, ACCC sent email surveys to cancer program administrators employed at ACCC-member cancer programs. One hundred and thirty programs responded to ACCC’s survey.
Survey results are available on ACCC’s website, at www.accc-cancer.org.