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Oncology Pharmacy

As oncology engages in value-based reimbursement, new payment models, and precision medicine, oncology pharmacists and pharmacy staff are integral to successful delivery of quality, cost-effective patient care.

The challenges are ongoing: increasing complexity of treatment regimens, new drug approvals and indications, the expansion of biosimilars in oncology, rapid advances in immunotherapy, the high cost of cancer treatment, and continual regulatory and reimbursement changes. 

The ACCC Oncology Pharmacy Education Network (OPEN) brings together education, resources, and peer-to-peer networking to help pharmacy professionals surmount the challenges and succeed.  OPEN offers the knowledge and know-how to navigate the accelerating course of change in oncology—clinically, operationally, fiscally, and programmatically. From USP <800> to integration of biosimilars, from preauthorizations to strategic planning—OPEN addresses real-world oncology pharmacy management issues such as reimbursement, distribution, inventory management, and effective integration of oral oncolytics, biosimilars, and immunotherapies for cancer.


Oncology Pharmacy Education Network Pre-Conference: The Practice of Pharmacy Management
Wednesday, October 30, Orlando, Florida
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Focused on the evolving role of oncology pharmacy, OPEN Pre-Conference sessions zero in on the most critical challenges that oncology pharmacists and allied staff, pharmacy directors, physicians, nurses, and cancer program/practice administrators and managers face today.

Pre-Conference registration is complimentary when you register for the National Oncology Conference. Can’t attend all three days? ACCC members can register for the one-day pre-conference for $75; non-ACCC members can attend for $230, which includes one year of ACCC Individual Membership.
Learn More and Register

From Oncology Issues

  •  The Oncology Pharmacy Navigator
    Rice K, et al.
    Patients with cancer experience a variety of difficulties in accessing and managing their medications. The Legacy Health Cancer Institute established an oncology pharmacy navigator to decrease barriers to patient access, reconcile medication lists, and alleviate the financial burden of cancer care.
  •  Implementation of Drug Vial Optimization to Reduce Drug Waste
    Amerine LB, et al.
    In the Department of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina North Carolina Cancer Hospital, discarding partial drug vials was a significant source of waste. With their Innovator Award–winning drug vial optimization program, the program maximized the lifespan of drugs within single-dose vials and realized an annual cost savings of more than $40 million.
  •  Immuno-Oncology: Breaking Barriers, Exploring Solutions, Improving Patient Care
    The ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute developed a multidisciplinary curriculum workshop bringing together faculty experienced in delivery of immunotherapy with cancer program staff in the earlier stages of IO integration. Over the past two years, these IO Visiting Experts Programs were hosted by ACCC Cancer Program Members nation-wide.
  •  Back to CAP?
    Secretary Alex Azar has expressed strong interest in revitalizing Medicare’s Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP) and introducing negotiation into Part B drug pricing.
  •  Drug-Specific Videos for Patient Chemotherapy Education
    Weese JL, et al.
    Long, written descriptions of chemotherapy and its side effects, particularly when prescribing multiple drugs, are often ignored by patients who are overwhelmed by their cancer diagnosis and treatment. From the perspective of the patients, it was clear that all patients needed basic information regarding chemotherapy, including how to react to different situations while on chemotherapy and specifics about the drugs they were going to receive.
 

Additional Resources

Infusion

Patient-Centered Scheduling: Costs & Benefits of Extending Practice Hours

This special report from ACCC examines the pros and cons of extended infusion suite hours. Included is a tool to help practices and programs assess the feasibility of extending hours of care.

Oral Chemotherapy

Dispensing Pharmacy Patient Education Tool

Physician dispensing is governed by state law and regulated by State Boards of Pharmacy. While some states do not allow physician dispensing, most of the states that allow it require dispensing physicians to alert their patients about other options to fill their prescription(s). In response to this need, ACCC has developed this patient education tool that can be used across care settings.

News Coverage

Listen to ACCC President Ali McBride discuss ACCC's educational opportunities, from NSCLC to multiple myeloma to CLL:

 

Accelerating Biosimilar Uptake in the US Market: Barriers and Solutions

 

Oncology Drug Database

Access ACCC's comprehensive resource for coding, billing, and reimbursement for oncology drugs.
Access the Database

ACCCBuzz Blog Posts

Post-Learning Lab: Broader Stakeholder Engagement, Proactive Steps


July 18, 2019
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Hand moving in missing puzzle piece

This is the second part of a report on the ACCC Financial Advocacy Network Learning Lab held on December 5, 2018, at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) in Nashville, Tenn. While part one addressed the barriers VICC identified as preventing its provision of optimal financial advocacy services to all patients, part two describes findings at a three-month follow-up evaluation.

Within the three months following the ACCC Learning Lab, VICC participants met with stakeholders and leadership to report on their efforts to take a more proactive approach to financial advocacy. VICC has already implemented a method of tracking patients who sign up for copay assistance and cost-savings programs. Learning Lab participants are working with VICC’s pharmacy billing team to collect metrics on these activities, including cost-savings for patients and for the organization overall.

VICC staff are also planning to provide more robust training and education about financial navigation to help all staff understand the implications of financial toxicity and distress for patients.

In general, VICC staff acknowledge their need for a larger financial navigation structure that will require adding more financial counselors to their team and collecting more data points about their patient population. With the knowledge that their current financial advocacy model is unsustainable, VICC is working to involve key players in a redesign of its entire financial navigation program to better meet the needs of its patients.

To accomplish this, stakeholders have won the support of VICC’s leadership. “We have all the right eyes and ears involved now,” says Lise Ridings, administrative director of operations at VICC. “We had huge attendance [at the Learning Lab], which allowed for broad exposure to the need, and facilitated increased knowledge and awareness.” Ridings adds that just getting people together from across VICC’s various departments has advanced the goal of enhancing the cancer center’s financial advocacy efforts. Breaking down siloes and increasing interdepartmental discussions have brought more attention to the importance of this effort.

Cody Tyler, a clinical business coordinator at VICC and champion for the financial advocacy program, says Learning Lab participants have been asked to pull together data about the cancer center’s financial advocacy efforts to present to the leadership team. Tyler says VICC’s executive leadership is highly involved and actively participates in the financial advocacy team’s core meetings.

“We have been working with executive leaders to draft the future state of the financial navigation program,” says Tyler. She adds that VICC’s leadership is looking to the care team on the front lines to help design and build a program that can address their patients’ growing need for financial resources at every stage of the care continuum.

Stay tuned for more on the ACCC Financial Learning Lab experience from the Fred & Pamela Buffet Cancer Center in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Renown Health Institute for Cancer in Reno, Nevada.
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Access ACCC Financial Advocacy Resources Online

Then join colleagues in Orlando, Oct. 30, for the ACCC Financial Advocacy Pre-Conference to gain practical, proactive strategies for supporting financial advocacy services and measuring the benefit to patients and your program. Learn more