NCCN Policy Summit to address impact of health care reform on academic oncology practice

On July 10, 2014, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) will host the NCCN Policy Summit: The Impact of Health Care Reform on Academic Oncology Practice, at The Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia, as part of the NCCN Oncology Policy Program.

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, passed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is designed to bring transparency to financial relationships between physicians, teaching hospitals, and the pharmaceuticals industry. In part, this summit will examine the impact of the Sunshine Act on academic physicians, as well as provide a forum for stakeholders to discuss health care reform, as currently conceived and implemented, and to consider its effect on academic cancer centers, including topics such as shift in site of care, affiliation models, and the cost and quality of care delivered at academic cancer centers.

"To date, much of the discussion regarding health care reform and cancer care delivery has focused on the impact on community oncology practice, with much less attention being paid to how academic cancer centers are being affected," said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. "With evidence showing that some patients with cancer have better outcomes at comprehensive cancer centers, NCCN seeks to provide a forum for discussion regarding the effect health care reform is having or will have on academic oncology practice, access to the care delivered academic cancer centers, and the patients they serve."

Researchers from City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in Duarte, California, recently completed a study of 53,618 patients with breast, cervical, colorectal, gastric, hepatobiliary, lung, oral, or pancreatic cancers, finding that patients treated at NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers had higher overall survival rates compared to those treated at community cancer centers, even when considering factors such as socioeconomic status, age, and gender.

"Population-level findings provide evidence that for certain types of cancer, there is a survival benefit to receiving treatment at a specialized cancer center that has received designation by NCI as a 'Comprehensive Cancer Center,'" said Julie Anne Wolfson, MD, MSHS, City of Hope, the lead author for the study. "However, there are a number of factors tied to a lower likelihood of receiving treatment at such a specialized cancer center, including having public or no health insurance, a lower socioeconomic status, being from an African-American or Hispanic background, or living more than nine miles from the nearest cancer center."

The NCCN Policy Summit will feature two roundtable sessions, each commencing with a keynote address. Participating in the first session are keynote speakers, Anita Griner, MBA, PMP, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); and F. Marc Stewart, MD, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; followed by a roundtable discussion including Matt Farber, MA, Association of Community Cancer Centers; Ms. Griner; Deidre Meehan, JD, Johnson & Johnson; Jon Retzlaff, MBA, MPA, American Association for Cancer Research; Samuel Silver, MD, PhD, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and American Society of Hematology; Dr. Stewart; and Andrew Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The summit's second session will include a keynote address delivered by Kavita Patel, MD, The Brookings Institution; and Tim Ferris, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center; followed by a roundtable discussion including the following panelists: Christian Downs, JD, MHA, Association of Community Cancer Centers; Dr. Ferris; Louis Jacques, MD, ADVI; Terry Langbaum, MAS, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins; Donald Liss, MD, Independence Blue Cross; Dr. Patel; Caroline Pearson, Avalere Health; Brian Rosen, JD, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; and Dr. Wolfson.


National Comprehensive Cancer Network


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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