The Future of the NCCN

Author: David C. Hohn MD
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JNCCN spoke with David C. Hohn, MD, President/Chief Executive Officer of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and NCCN's newly elected Chair of the Board of Directors, about his vision of NCCN's role in today's changing health care environment and its involvement in changing the way cancer treatment of the future is delivered.JNCCN: Dr. Hohn, you've been an academic cancer surgeon as well as a high-profile executive leader at two of this country's premier NCI-designated cancer centers. From your experience, what is the single greatest challenge that NCCN members face today?DCH: When I became a practicing physician in the 1970s, I focused fully on delivering quality cancer care, performing laboratory research, and conducting clinical trials—the hallmarks of the academic medical profession. In those days, I gave little thought to medical economics, reimbursement issues, cost-efficacy, and standards of care, and absolutely no thought to outcomes measurement beyond the relatively simple measures of morbidity, mortality, response rate, time to recurrence or progression, and survival.Although the priorities of medicine have remained essentially the same, the practice of medicine is now heavily influenced by the business of medicine, with the shadowy outlines of concepts like “pay for performance” and “quality or outcome based reimbursement” looming as the sequels to fading images of “managed care.” In other words, medicine, for better or for worse and for the foreseeable future, will be largely driven by the business of medicine and the chilling realities of the rising fraction of gross domestic product allocated to health care...

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David C. Hohn, MD, came to Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in 1997 from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he served as Vice President of Patient Care.

Dr. Hohn has aggressively positioned RPCI as a national and international leader in cancer; transitioned the Institute from a state-run facility to a Public Benefit Corporation; reorganized senior leadership teams, clinical departments, and scientific programs; and successfully coordinated a massive recruitment effort.

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