Oncology Rounds

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

CMS' chemotherapy measure: What cancer programs need to know

by Deirdre Saulet and Aasheen Qadri December 3, 2019

We've been getting a lot of questions about OP-35, the first chemo-specific measure in the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program (OQR)—questions ranging from how it's calculated, to the impact it will (or will not) have on hospital reimbursement, to how programs can leverage this data. Check out our four key takeaways for every cancer program.

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CMMI outlines potential next steps in oncology payment reform—the Oncology Care First Model

Deirdre Saulet November 11, 2019

With the Oncology Care Model (OCM) set to end in just over a year and a half, we've been wondering when the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) would share its intentions for the next phase of oncology payment reform. We got a glimpse on Friday, November 1, when CMMI published an informal RFI on the Oncology Care First (OCF) model. With comments on this model due by December 13, interested stakeholders don't have time to waste, but the good news is that it's only 12 pages long. Read our quick take below and submit your comments ASAP.

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The 2020 HOPPS final rule brings major changes to physician supervision—and more—for cancer programs

Deirdre Saulet , Ashley Riley November 7, 2019

Editor's note: This blog post was updated on November 20, 2019.

Last week was action-packed. On top of the World Series (go Nats!), Halloween, and daylight savings, CMS decided to loosen physician supervision requirements for outpatient therapeutic services! Keep reading to find out what else CMS finalized in its 2020 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) final rule and the implications for cancer programs. 

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How are your peers managing immunotherapies? Here’s what you need to know.

by Ashley Riley and Deirdre Saulet October 21, 2019

Immunotherapy is one of the most significant developments in cancer treatment in recent history. With the potential to improve outcomes for certain patient populations, it's no surprise that global cancer immunotherapy revenue is estimated to increase by 300% from 2018 to 2024. Exciting, but not without challenges, such as making sure providers and patients are knowledgeable and ready to take advantage of these innovations.

Here's what your peers said are their biggest challenges and priorities when it comes to checkpoint inhibitors and CAR T-cell therapy.

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Oncology staff burned out? Engage and retain your staff with these targeted strategies.

by Deirdre Saulet and Emily Venner October 7, 2019

Oncology, along with all of health care, has a burnout problem, and it's critical to address as burnout impacts workplace wellness, productivity, and even care quality. Not surprisingly, burnout can manifest in workforce turnover, incurring high costs for re-hiring staff and losing the valuable experience of long-term employees.

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Don't know how to lower costs and raise quality? Your pharmacists do.

by Jacob Dingle and Deirdre Saulet September 27, 2019

Although pharmacists are an integral part of the cancer care team, evidence suggests their skills are not being fully utilized. In the 2018 ACCC Trending Now in Cancer Care Survey, 89% of programs reported employing either pharmacists or pharmacy technicians, and 75% reported employing both types of staff.

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How your peers are using APPs—and what you can do to keep them on your team

by Jacob Dingle and Deirdre Saulet September 24, 2019

It's no secret that advanced practice providers (APPs) are high-value staffing resources, especially in medical oncology where they can help expand access, improve symptom management, or make up for physician shortages. And while we've been talking about top-of-license practice for decades, many programs struggle to do so due to avoidable time sinks, lack of insight into the APP role, or challenges related to organizational culture and physician buy in.

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Can medical scribes alleviate EHR-related oncologist burnout? It's complicated.

by Deirdre Saulet and Mallory Kirby September 9, 2019

Across 2018, we partnered with the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) to conduct our second annual Trending Now in Cancer Care survey. One new topic we covered? The employment of medical scribes.

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