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ASCO Quality Care Symposium

Boston, MA—The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign has the potential to rein in healthcare costs and improve patient care. Each year since 2012, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has listed 5 tests or interventions that should not be used routinely in clinical practice, but so far no data have been published on whether oncologists are following these recommendations.
Boston, MA—Results of a new study show that the care setting, whether an academic hospital or a community center, does not affect the cost of colon cancer care or the duration of overall survival (OS). The study was presented at the 2014 ASCO Quality Care Symposium.
Boston, MA—A patient-reported outcomes study demonstrated that 20% to 45% of patients treated at community cancer centers did not get advice or adequate help for managing common symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and emotional distress. Another important finding of the PROSSES study is that the quality improvement registry-­based Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) method for assessing patient-reported outcomes is useful in clinical practice and led to improved cancer care at the 17 participating community cancer centers. The results were presented at the 2014 ASCO Quality Care Symposium.
Boston, MA—Excess use of chemotherapy at the end of life has been a major quality and cost concern for the past decade. A new study reported at the 2014 ASCO Quality Care Symposium surprisingly showed low use of oral chemotherapy in the last months of life and a decline in oral chemotherapy as patients approached death. In this study, in the last 30 days of life, roughly 19% of patients received intravenous (IV) chemotherapy compared with only 5% of patients who received oral chemotherapy.
Boston, MA—The Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System (RO-ILS) is a safety initiative developed jointly by the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, mainly in response to a scathing report of serious radiation errors published in the New York Times in 2010. At the 2014 ASCO Quality Care Symposium, Suzanne B. Evans, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT, discussed the initiative, which was launched in June 2014.
Boston, MA—Two recent studies have shown that non–evidence-based use of chemotherapy is common in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or colon cancer. The results were reported at the 2014 ASCO Quality Care Symposium.
Boston, MA—The good news for patients with cancer is that oncologists are beginning to recognize financial toxicity as a side effect of cancer treatment. According to S. Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, Medical Oncologist, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, financial toxicity should be assessed as a patient-reported outcome as early as possible after a cancer diagnosis so that interventions can be put in place to assist patients in getting expanded coverage for their treatments.

San Diego, CA—Current economic trends mandate the development of innovative strategies to affect quality and efficiency in cancer care, applying the same rigor as used in clinical trials, according to Lee N. Newcomer, MD, MHA, Senior Vice President, UnitedHealthcare, who addressed cost issues and barriers in provider reimbursement at the 2013 ASCO Quality Care Symposium.

San Diego, CA—The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) tool can inform clinical care delivery for patients with cancer, according to the initial results of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded project.

San Diego, CA—A new sense of urgency surrounds the need to improve quality measurement, even as major gaps persist in existing measures, said Jennifer L. Malin, MD, PhD, Medical Director, Oncology, WellPoint, at the 2013 ASCO Quality Care Symposium.

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