Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Elizabeth A. Nardi, and James McCanney
Elizabeth A. Nardi, Lisa Korin Lentz, Katherine Winckworth-Prejsnar, Amy P. Abernethy, and Robert W. Carlson
When used effectively, health information technology (HIT) can transform clinical care and contribute to new research discoveries. Despite advances in HIT and increased electronic health record adoption, many challenges to optimal use, interoperability, and data sharing exist. Data standardization across systems is limited, and scanned medical note documents result in unstructured data that make reporting on quality measures for reimbursement burdensome. Different policies and initiatives, including the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, and the National Cancer Moonshot initiative, among others, all recognize the impact that HIT can have on cancer care. Given the growing role HIT plays in health care, it is vital to have effective and efficient HIT systems that can exchange information, collect credible data that is analyzable at the point of care, and improves the patient-provider relationship. In June 2016, NCCN hosted the Emerging Issues and Opportunities in Health Information Technology Policy Summit. The summit addressed challenges, issues, and opportunities in HIT as they relate to cancer care. Keynote presentations and panelists discussed moving beyond Meaningful Use, HIT readiness to support and report on quality care, the role of HIT in precision medicine, the role of HIT in the National Cancer Moonshot initiative, and leveraging HIT to improve quality of clinical care.
Elizabeth A. Nardi, Can-Lan Sun, Francisco Robert, and Julie A. Wolfson
Background: In elderly patients with lung cancer, race/ethnicity is associated with not receiving treatment; however, little attention has been given to nonelderly patients (aged ≤65 years) with a range of disease stages and histologies. Nonelderly patients with lung cancer have superior survival at NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers (CCCs), although the reasons remain unknown. Patients and Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in 9,877 patients newly diagnosed with small cell or non–small cell lung cancer (all stages) between ages 22 and 65 years and reported to the Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance Program registry between 1998 and 2008. Multivariable logistic regression examined factors associated with nontreatment. Results: In multivariable analysis, race/ethnicity was associated with not receiving cancer treatment (black: odds ratio [OR], 1.22; P=.004; Hispanic: OR, 1.17; P=.04), adjusting for patient age, sex, disease stage, histology, diagnosis year, distance to treatment facility, type of facility (CCC vs non-CCC), and insurance status. With inclusion of socioeconomic status (SES) in the model, the effect of race/ethnicity was no longer significant (black: OR, 1.02; P=.80; Hispanic: OR, 1.00; P=1.00). Factors independently associated with nontreatment included low SES (OR range, 1.37–2.15; P<.001), lack of private insurance (public: OR, 1.71; P<.001; uninsured: OR, 1.30; P<.001), and treatment facility (non-CCC: OR, 3.22; P<.001). Conclusions: In nonelderly patients with lung cancer, SES was associated with nontreatment, mitigating the effect of race/ethnicity. Patients were also at higher odds of nontreatment if they did not have private insurance or received cancer care at a non-CCC facility. These findings highlight the importance of understanding how both patient-level factors (eg, SES, insurance status) and facility-level factors (eg, treatment facility) serve as barriers to treatment of nonelderly patients with lung cancer.
Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Elizabeth A. Nardi, Lisa Korin Lentz, Jeffrey A. Crawford, C. Lyn Fitzgerald, and Robert W. Carlson
Molecular testing and biosimilars offer the potential for increased access to targeted treatment options and reduction in healthcare costs, but come with significant challenges in ensuring patient access to innovation in cancer care while maintaining safe, effective, ethical, and affordable treatment options. As providers, payers, patients, and the larger healthcare systems become inundated with a wide variety of molecular diagnostics and an increased number of biosimilars coming to market, it will be important to understand regulatory guidance and policy implications relating to the appropriateness of molecular testing and the clinical use of biosimilars in cancer care. In September 2016, NCCN hosted the Molecular Testing and Biosimilars Policy Summit to address the challenges, issues, and opportunities in both the molecular testing and biosimilar landscapes. Keynote presentations and panelists further discussed the status and future of molecular testing and biosimilars within the oncology space, as well as patient access and education needs moving forward.
James McCanney, Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Alyssa A. Schatz, Elizabeth A. Nardi, Andrea J. Dwyer, Christopher Lieu, Yelak Biru, and Robert W. Carlson
As a disease, cancer can affect an individual's well-being, from physical to psychological, social, and even spiritual wellness. The cancer survivor population must navigate a complex, constantly evolving field, with the assistance of their care team, to conquer the disease. To address the unmet needs of the cancer survivorship community, NCCN conducted an environmental scan of existing and emerging aspects of survivorship cancer care through stakeholder meetings with survivors and patient advocacy groups to discuss needs, opportunities, and challenges in providing high-quality, patient-centered cancer survivorship care. The findings of this environmental scan directly informed the corresponding NCCN Patient Advocacy Summit: Addressing Survivorship in Cancer Care, held in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2017. In addition to the many patient advocacy groups, the summit featured stakeholders from all relevant areas of survivorship care. This article encapsulates the findings of the thorough environmental scan and the discussion from the NCCN Patient Advocacy Summit, including identified gaps and needs in addressing survivorship in cancer care.
Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Elizabeth A. Nardi, James McCanney, F. Marc Stewart, Terry Langbaum, Bruce J. Gould, C. Lyn Fitzgerald, and Robert W. Carlson
The inability to obtain the right high-quality cancer care in a timely and safe manner can have devastating results for patients. As cancer care becomes inundated with cutting edge and novel treatments, such as personalized medicine, oral chemotherapy, biosimilars, and immunotherapy, new safety challenges are emerging at increasing speed and complexity. Moreover, shifting federal healthcare policies could have significant implications for the safety and access to high-quality and effective cancer care for millions of patients with cancer. Challenges and opportunities in ensuring patient access to safe, affordable, and high-quality cancer care remain significant within the policy landscape. To address these concerns, NCCN hosted the Ensuring Safety and Access in Cancer Care Policy Summit in June 2017 to discuss pertinent patient safety issues and access implications under the Trump administration, as well as policy and advocacy strategies to address these gaps and build on opportunities moving forward.
Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Lisa Korin Lentz, Elizabeth A. Nardi, Sandhya Pruthi, C. Lyn Fitzgerald, and Robert W. Carlson
In order to empower patients as partners in their healthcare decisions, there is an identified need for value tools that provide enough information to help them make decisions regarding their cancer care journey. NCCN convened a multistakeholder working group to identify the gaps and needs of current value tools and develop a set of findings and recommendations for the evolution of value tools for patients. The findings and recommendations of the working group were then presented at the Value Tools for Patients in Cancer Care Patient Advocacy Summit in December 2016, and multistakeholder roundtable panel discussions explored these findings and recommendations along with additional items. This article encapsulates the discussion from the NCCN Working Group meetings and the NCCN Patient Advocacy Summit, including identified gaps and needs in defining value in cancer care, identified principles and parameters of value tools for patients in cancer care, and consensus statements and recommendations offered by the NCCN Working Group.
Elizabeth A. Nardi, James McCanney, Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Alyssa A. Schatz, Kerin Adelson, Marcus Neubauer, Mary Lou Smith, Ronald Walters, and Robert W. Carlson
Quality measurement in oncology is increasing in significance as payment schemes shift from volume to value. As demand for quality measures increases, challenges in the development of quality measures, standardization across measures, and the limitations of health information technology have become apparent. Moreover, the time and financial burden associated with developing, tracking, and reporting quality measures are substantial. Despite these challenges, best practices and leaders in the field of quality measurement in oncology have emerged. To understand the current challenges and promising practices in quality measurement and to explore future considerations for measure development and measure reporting in oncology, NCCN convened the NCCN Policy Summit: Redefining Quality Measurement in Oncology. The summit included discussion of the current quality landscape and efforts to develop quality measures, use of quality measures in various programs, patient perspective of quality, and challenges and best practices for quality reporting.
Elizabeth A. Nardi, Julie A. Wolfson, Steven T. Rosen, Robert B. Diasio, Stanton L. Gerson, Barbara A. Parker, Joseph C. Alvarnas, Harlan A. Levine, Yuman Fong, Dennis D. Weisenburger, C. Lyn Fitzgerald, Maggie Egan, Sharon Stranford, Robert W. Carlson, and Edward J. Benz Jr
Key challenges facing the oncology community today include access to appropriate, high quality, patient-centered cancer care; defining and delivering high-value care; and rising costs. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network convened a Work Group composed of NCCN Member Institution cancer center directors and their delegates to examine the challenges of access, high costs, and defining and demonstrating value at the academic cancer centers. The group identified key challenges and possible solutions to addressing these issues. The findings and recommendations of the Work Group were then presented at the Value, Access, and Cost of Cancer Care Policy Summit in September 2015 and multi-stakeholder roundtable panel discussions explored these findings and recommendations along with additional items.