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Doug Hutton
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ACCC Releases White Paper on Challenges and Opportunities for Delivery of Patient-Centered Care

ROCKVILLE, MD. – Effective delivery of patient-centered care is essential to meet the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Triple Aim – improved patient experience, improved outcomes, and reduced costs. As the U.S. healthcare system shifts from volume to value-based reimbursement, many new payment models incorporate patient satisfaction and/or patient experience measures when determining overall compensation.

To better define what patient-centered care means in oncology, as well as to identify barriers and the potential way forward, 20 leaders in community oncology convened for the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) fourth annual Institute for the Future of Oncology Forum. Through the forum discussion, participants identified key elements needed to deliver true patient-centered cancer care. These are presented in a new ACCC white paper, “Empowering Patients, Engaging Providers: The Future of Patient-Centered Care in Oncology.”

“We still have a lot of work to do in order for patients to receive the quality of care they desire and deserve,” said ACCC President Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP. “There are many dimensions to the future of patient-centered care and our community cancer centers are prepared to overcome existing challenges and put theory into oncology practice.” The seven key elements identified are patient stories (i.e., knowing the person, and not just the patient), navigation and coordination, interdisciplinary teams, appropriate reimbursement for services rendered, greater education, information technology connectivity and transparency, and decision support tools.

Institute forum participants then concluded that getting to true patient-centered oncology care will require overcoming obstacles, including restructuring the way in which cancer care is delivered and reimbursed, as well as identifying opportunities to reduce or remove barriers to patient-centered care delivery. To improve the delivery of patient-centered care, the oncology community needs to:

  • Understand gaps and barriers to patient-centered care in current delivery systems and envision the possibilities of high-quality cancer care that is accessible and affordable;
  • Consider emerging alternative payment models to evolve the current reimbursement system to support patient-centered care;
  • Identify existing patient-centric approaches that may be replicable by other cancer programs;
  • Connect with existing tools and resources to improve patient-centered care delivery; and
  • Empower patients to participate in shared decision-making with providers to articulate the care they want and value.

The white paper includes input from oncologists and cancer program executives from hospitals, oncology practices, and healthcare systems across the country; representatives from patient advocacy groups; researchers; and supportive care providers. To receive a copy of the white paper, please contact Lori Gardner at

About the Association of Cancer Care Centers

The Association of Cancer Care Centers (ACCC) is the leading education and advocacy organization for the cancer care community. Founded in 1974, ACCC is a powerful network of 40,000 multidisciplinary practitioners from 2,100 hospitals and practices nationwide. As advances in cancer screening and diagnosis, treatment options, and care delivery models continue to evolve - so has ACCC - adapting its resources to meet the changing needs of the entire oncology care team. For more information, visit Follow us on social media; read our blog, ACCCBuzz; tune in to our CANCER BUZZ podcast; and view our CANCER BUZZ TV channel.