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September 10, 2014
Association of Community Cancer Centers' 2014 Survey: Cancer Programs are Taking Charge, Developing Own Guidelines to Track and Measure Quality
Survey also Reports Demand for Patient-Centered Services
Continues to Soar
ROCKVILLE, Md.—Results from the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ (ACCC) recently released annual Trends in Cancer Programs survey reveal a compelling new trend among cancer programs—an increasing number are proactively developing their own guidelines to help measure and track the quality of care provided, rather than waiting to be told what to do by payers.
While the use of metrics to track and measure quality is increasing, only 28% of respondents report that their payers require quality measures, although most believe this is coming in the future. These findings may explain the increased participation in accountable care organizations (ACOs): 24% of survey respondents reported they are currently involved with an ACO that has an oncology component, a significant uptick from 5% in 2013. Twenty-two percent of oncology providers stated that they intend to participate in an ACO in the future.
Another key survey finding—the demand for patient-centered care is still going strong. An increasing number of cancer programs are stepping up their efforts to ensure that they are ready for the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer (CoC) standards that go into effect in 2015, including those related to palliative care, clinical trials, patient navigation, cancer survivorship, and genetic counseling. The survey found that patient-centered care is driving growth in the number of supportive services being offered, including integrative and complementary therapies. In particular, the patient-centered field of financial advocacy is thriving, with 90% of survey respondents offering financial assistance services, and 84% reporting that they have “financial specialists” on staff.
“Change is constant in healthcare. ACCC’s survey shows that forward-thinking cancer care programs are looking ahead to what’s next, and taking charge by proactively identifying quality measurements to drive improvements,” said ACCC President Becky L. DeKay, MBA. “The survey also reveals that the extraordinary demand for patient-centered care continues, and an increasing number of cancer programs are answering the call by offering a full spectrum of innovative services that ensure patients’ needs are being met. The results reinforce the focus on quality in cancer care, which is my President’s theme for 2014-2015. Delivering quality care is a journey—not a destination, and our members are clearly making progress on this journey.”
Other Key Survey Findings:
- The trend towards market consolidation seems to have slowed; 72% percent of respondents in this year’s survey reported they saw “no marketplace changes” this past year, and only 9% reported consolidation through affiliation (compared to 19% in the 2013 survey).
- Cancer programs are still challenged by oral oncolytics; despite the increasing number of oral agents on the market, only 30% of survey respondents report that their cancer program actually dispenses oral agents.
- Participation in the 340B Drug Program is growing rapidly; nearly 60% of respondents say that they participate in this drug discount program. This number has more than doubled since the first year of ACCC’s Trends survey, when only 26% reported 340B Program participation. Sixty-one percent anticipate participating in the future.
This is the fifth year in which the Trends in Cancer Programs survey has been conducted, and is a joint project between ACCC and Lilly Oncology. More than 110 cancer programs participated in this year’s survey, which was conducted by the consulting firm Oncology Reimbursement Management. The 2014 Trends in Cancer Programs Survey is available to ACCC members and on request.
For more information about ACCC’s Trends in Cancer Programs 2014 Survey, visit www.accc-cancer.org/trends2014.