Oncology Rounds

The latest news and research on cancer care from the Oncology Roundtable.

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Four takeaways from the ACCC's Financial Advocacy Network workshops

Deirdre Saulet November 23, 2015

Over the past couple months, I was fortunate to help facilitate the ACCC’s Financial Advocacy Network’s case-based workshops. I had a great time meeting financial counselors from all over the country and learning new best practices for successful financial navigation. Here are my four biggest takeaways.

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How much should a drug cost? You decide.

by Rebecca Howland October 8, 2015

Last week, we discussed the ASCO value framework, which lets you weigh the clinical benefits of new drugs compared to the standard of care. But this framework is difficult to use, and it leaves many questions unanswered: How does value translate to cost? How can we compare two drugs? If you had a terminal illness, how much would you pay for an extra year of life? These are the incredibly difficult questions that patients and providers have been facing for years.

To help answer these questions, Dr. Peter Bach created DrugAbacus.

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Expert Q&A: How to successfully roll out point-of-service collections

Deirdre Saulet July 20, 2015

Increased patient cost-shifting means that a growing proportion of providers’ revenue will depend upon their ability to collect from patients. While the best opportunity to collect from patients is at the point of service, 70% of Oncology Roundtable members do not consistently collect up-front payments.

It’s easy to see why. Most employees come to work to help patients—they don’t want to upset them or drive them away by asking for money. However, both patients and cancer programs can benefit from improved collections.

I sat down with my colleague Melissa Henry, a dedicated advisor for Payment Navigation Compass, to get her thoughts on how programs can successfully launch point-of-service collections.

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UAB study shows impact of lay navigation on cancer costs

Deirdre Saulet June 24, 2015

Over the past decade, cancer programs have made major investments in patient navigation, yet few have been able to demonstrate a measurable impact on the quality and cost of care. That’s why we were excited to see a preliminary study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) showing the impact of their lay navigation program on health care utilization and costs.

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The sacrifices cancer patients make to afford care

by Ashley Riley April 7, 2015

A recent report by the Cancer Support Community found that 46% of cancer patients experience significant anxiety associated with managing the costs of care, and a striking number of patients fail to adhere to recommended treatment due to costs. These findings add to the growing body of evidence indicating that it’s more important now than ever for cancer programs to help patients manage the financial toxicity of cancer.

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ASCO developing drug scorecard to facilitate value comparisons

by Lindsay Conway & Hanna Kemeny June 26, 2014

As part of its initiative to define value in cancer care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is working to develop a framework for evaluating cancer drugs based on efficacy, toxicity, and cost. The task force has been working on the rating system for more than a year, and they plan to present a proposal for public comment in the fall.

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Financial burden decreases cancer survivors' quality of life

Deirdre Saulet June 16, 2014

The costs of cancer treatment are known to impact patients’ adherence to treatment, employment status, and long-term financial well-being. On top of all that, according to a recent study, cancer-related financial problems are the strongest independent predictor of survivors’ quality of life. 

Check out the key findings from the study and learn what your cancer program can do to help mitigate the financial impact of cancer treatment.

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Navigating the way to a better patient experience

January 13, 2014

Hanna Kemeny, Oncology Roundtable

Following a cancer diagnosis, patients need assistance navigating a new and unfamiliar medical world. Providing individualized help with coordinating appointments, finding support groups, and understanding medical jargon can benefit both patients and their families.

A pilot program at Group Health has addressed these needs by pairing oncology nurse navigators with newly diagnosed breast, colorectal, and lung cancer patients for four months. These navigation services, which increase one-on-one contact and conversations between nurses and patients, have been effective in improving the patient experience.

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