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[MINI-PODCAST] AMCCBS Live: Industry Reconfiguration Trends

March 3, 2022

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Harlan Levine, MD, spoke to CANCER BUZZ during the ACCC 48th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit to share his top takeaways from the stage. What stood out? Hearing different perspectives from the community setting, academic, and industry on ways to reconfigure cancer care so it's truly focused on the patient, how to introduce research into the oncology ecosystem, and the need to prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion. 


Harlan LevineHarlan Levine, MD
President, Strategy and Business Ventures, City of Hope National Medical Center
Chairman of the Board, AccessHopeTM


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CANCER BUZZ: Welcome to the special edition of CANCER BUZZ. I'm Summer Johnsons. We're here at the ACCC’s 48th Annual Meeting and Cancer Business Summit (AMCCBS). Over the next couple of days, we'll be bringing you four special discussions with oncology leaders from the Annual Meeting. We're here with Dr. Levine at the Annual Meeting. Dr. Levine, to introduce yourself to our audience, tell us where you work and what you do.

Harlan Levine, MD: Yes. Hi, good morning. I'm Dr. Harlan Levine. I am the President of Strategy and Business Ventures at City of Hope. And I'm also the Chairman of the Board of AccessHope.

CANCER BUZZ: What was your biggest takeaway from the Industry Reconfiguration session? You were just on the panel?

Harlan Levine, MD: Yeah, I thought it was a really interesting panel. It's really great to be in an environment like this, where you hear other people's perspectives and how to reconfigure the ecosystem. I think everyone has their own sort of perspective and bias as they come onto that stage. And hopefully we all learned something from each other. To me, it feels as if we're trying to take the models that we've used for the last 20 or 30 years, particularly in primary care and apply them to oncology. And I think we really need to step back and think about what's in the best interest of the cancer patient and configure your ecosystem around that.

And I think the other takeaway for me is that I think people are focused on the day-to-day transaction of oncology care, a patient in the room, getting chemo. I think we really need to look at how are we going to cure cancer and how do you introduce research into the ecosystem more effectively than we do today? How do we address disparities in healthcare that exists today? We know for a fact that people of color have higher mortality rates than their white counterparts. We know that people on Medicaid programs in California get diagnosed at later stages.

So how do we really build the ecosystem to really chip away at those disparities? Those are the questions we should be asking ourselves.

CANCER BUZZ: Speaking of industry collaboration, tell us about your AccessHope initiative.

Harlan Levine, MD: Yeah, really excited about that. That was born in City of Hope, sitting in a room, thinking about how do we really help more people, even people that can't come to City of Hope, because we know most people can't travel. Most people want to get their care in the community. So we created what we think of as an engine to democratize good cancer care. And what we do is we have our experts, our sub-specialists at City of Hope organized in a way that they share their knowledge with cases on cases with practicing oncologists in the community.

So we basically are creating a private tumor board for each individual oncologist taking care of a patient. The main customer for this is the employer and the employer cares not just about affordability, but they care about the outcome, the quality and the patient experience. So they've been willing to invest in this sort of program and it's really taken off. We spun it out as a separate company because we think there should not be just about City of Hope anymore, but rather about NCI level of expertise. So we've invited in partners like Northwestern and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Emory, and their experts are now part of that group of the team of sub-specialists that are out there supporting oncologists across the country to deliver better care and allowing the patient to get that care in their community.

CANCER BUZZ: How does our audience find out more about the AccessHope program?

Harlan Levine, MD: Well, they can go to the website, which is www.MyAccessHope.org, or you can just Google AccessHope or you can talk to just about any employer today because we're up to almost 80 large employers and we covered 3.4 million lives, so the word is really out there in the community today.

CANCER BUZZ: Fantastic. Last question. What are you looking forward to the rest of the next couple of days?

Harlan Levine, MD: Well, I love this summit because you have people who are representing community oncology, academic oncology, and the business side. So what I'm looking for is more, a dialogue around how do we increase the quality of care drive affordability. And as importantly as the first to start to chip away at the disparities in health care that exists today.

CANCER BUZZ: That’s the 1st discussion of four from the Annual Meeting, stay tuned to this podcast channel for more information about the meeting. You can also check out accc-cancer.org/AMCCBS. And you can also follow along on social media channels, just search for ACCCBuzz. For CANCER BUZZ, this is Summer Johnson.

CANCER BUZZ is a resource of the Association of Community Cancer Centers.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s)/faculty member(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of their employer(s) or the Association of Community Cancer Centers.