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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.


Podcast

  • [PODCAST] Episode 7: The Evolution of Oncology Pharmacy
    Oct 29, 2019
    Learn more about the role that oncology pharmacists play in cancer care and how that role is changing in the face of new therapies and the advent of value-based health. Discover how UNC Hospital's Department of Pharmacy avoids passing surprise bills to patients and ensures financial stability for their cancer program.

Upcoming Meetings

From Oncology Issues

  •  Reducing Revenue Loss and Patient Financial Toxicity with a Pharmacy-Managed Pre-Certification and Denials Management Program
    Suzanne J. Francart, PharmD, BCPS, et al.
    To adequately address patient financial toxicity, institutions must assume responsibility for ensuring that patients understand their insurance coverage and anticipated out-of-pocket expenses. Institutions should also have procedures in place to navigate the pre-certification process and prevent claim denials that may ultimately end up as the patient’s responsibility.
  •  The Year of the Biosimilar
    Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP
    With the advent of biologics decades ago, the practice of oncology was forever changed.
  •  The Emerging Role of Oral Oncolytics
    Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP
    Oral oncolytic agents have several advantages over the parenteral route, including patient convenience, prolonged drug exposure, and non-invasive administration.
  •  Chemotherapy Stewardship
    Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP
    In response to the increasing complexity of oncolytic agents, the associated economic burden on the patient and health system, and the intricacies associated with alternative payment models (APMs), I suggest the need for widespread establishment of chemotherapy stewardship services.
  •  The Future is Wide OPEN
    Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP
    With this dynamic change in treatment modalities comes a need to change our practice models to keep pace with innovation, quality care, and patient needs.
 

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.

 

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