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Ronald S. Walters

In spring of 2011, 11 NCCN Member Institutions were invited to participate in an opportunity to use the NCCN Breast Oncology Outcomes Database to identify opportunities for improvement in the quality of patient care in breast cancer and to implement measures that would target such improvement. The identified measures focused on the administration of treatment that is concordant with selected sections in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Breast Cancer or timely access to and administration of care. Each institution chose their project based on the individual opportunities specific to that institution.

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Leigh Gallo, Ronald S. Walters, Jeff Allen, Jenny Ahlstrom, Clay Alspach, Yelak Biru, Alyssa Schatz, Kara Martin, and Robert W. Carlson

The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), signed into law in 2016, was designed to advance new therapies by modernizing clinical trials, funding research initiatives, and accelerating the development and use of health information technology. To analyze the current issues in cancer care related to the implementation and impact of the Cures Act, NCCN convened a multistakeholder working group. Participants discussed the legislation’s impact on the oncology community since enactment and identified the remaining gaps and challenges as experienced by stakeholders. In June 2020, the policy recommendations of the working group were presented at the virtual NCCN Policy Summit: Accelerating Advances in Cancer Care Research: A Lookback at the 21st Century Cures Act in 2020. The summit consisted of informative discussions and a multistakeholder panel to explore the recommendations and the future of the Cures Act. This article explores identified policy recommendations from the NCCN Working Group and the NCCN Policy Summit, and analyzes opportunities to advance innovative cancer care and patient access to data.

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Terrell Johnson, Lindsey A.M. Bandini, Kara Martin, Lee Jones, Jennifer Carlson, Ronald S. Walters, and Robert W. Carlson

Health policy in America has shifted rapidly over the last decade, and states are increasingly exercising greater authority over health policy decision-making. This localization and regionalization of healthcare policy poses significant challenges for patients with cancer, providers, advocates, and policymakers. To identify the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead of stakeholders, NCCN hosted the 2019 Policy Summit: The State of Cancer Care in America on June 27, 2019, in Washington, DC. The summit featured multidisciplinary panel discussions to explore the implications for access to quality cancer care within a shifting health policy landscape from a patient, provider, and lawmaker perspective. This article encapsulates the discussion from this NCCN Policy Summit.

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Lindsey A.M. Bandini, Leigh Gallo, Terrell Johnson, Kara Martin, Alyssa A. Schatz, Kerin Adelson, Bryan A. Loy, Ronald S. Walters, Tracy Wong, and Robert W. Carlson

Quality measurement is a critical component of advancing a health system that pays for performance over volume. Although there has been significant attention paid to quality measurement within health systems in recent years, significant challenges to meaningful measurement of quality care outcomes remain. Defining cost can be challenging, but is arguably not as elusive as quality, which lacks standard measurement methods and units. To identify industry standards and recommendations for the future, NCCN recently hosted the NCCN Oncology Policy Summit: Defining, Measuring, and Applying Quality in an Evolving Health Policy Landscape and the Implications for Cancer Care. Key stakeholders including physicians, payers, policymakers, patient advocates, and technology partners reviewed current quality measurement programs to identify success and challenges, including the Oncology Care Model. Speakers and panelists identified gaps in quality measurement and provided insights and suggestions for further advancing quality measurement in oncology. This article provides insights and recommendations; however, the goal of this program was to highlight key issues and not to obtain consensus.

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Saul N. Weingart, Elizabeth Brown, Peter B. Bach, Kirby Eng, Shirley A. Johnson, Timothy M. Kuzel, Terry S. Langbaum, R. Donald Leedy, Raymond J. Muller, Lee N. Newcomer, Susan O’Brien, Denise Reinke, Mark Rubino, Leonard Saltz, and Ronald S. Walters

Oral chemotherapy is emerging as a new option for well-selected patients who can manage potentially complex oral regimens and self-monitor for potential complications. If a choice between oral and parenteral therapy is available, patients may opt for oral chemotherapy because it is more convenient to administer, allows them to avoid multiple office visits, and gives them a sense of control over their own cancer care. Whether these potential advantages are maintained in regimens that combine oral and parenteral drugs is less clear. The use of oral chemotherapeutic agents profoundly affects all aspects of oncology, including creating significant safety and adherence issues, shifting some traditional roles and responsibilities of oncologists, nurses, and pharmacists to patients and caregivers. The financing of chemotherapy is also affected. To address these issues, the NCCN convened a multidisciplinary task force consisting of oncologists, nurses, pharmacists, and payor representatives to discuss the impact of the increasing use of oral chemotherapy. (JNCCN 2008;6[Suppl 3]:S1–S14)

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Thomas A. D’Amico, Lindsey A.M. Bandini, Alan Balch, Al B. Benson III, Stephen B. Edge, C. Lyn Fitzgerald, Robert J. Green, Wui-Jin Koh, Michael Kolodziej, Shaji Kumar, Neal J. Meropol, James L. Mohler, David Pfister, Ronald S. Walters, and Robert W. Carlson

Although oncology care has evolved, outcome assessment remains a key challenge. Outcome measurement requires identification and adoption of a succinct list of metrics indicative of high-quality cancer care for use within and across healthcare systems. NCCN established an advisory committee, the NCCN Quality and Outcomes Committee, consisting of provider experts from NCCN Member Institutions and other stakeholders, including payers and patient advocacy, community oncology, and health information technology representatives, to review the existing quality landscape and identify contemporary, relevant cancer quality and outcomes measures by reevaluating validated measures for endorsement and proposing new measure concepts to fill crucial gaps. This manuscript reports on 22 measures and concepts; 15 that align with existing measures and 7 that are new.