Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Membership and Public Relations
301.984.9496 ext. 226
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jul 16, 2013
ROCKVILLE, Md. – Results from the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ (ACCC) recently released Trends in Community Cancer Centers survey show that most cancer programs are striving to measure the quality of the care they deliver, although many are in the early stages of the process.
High on the list of metrics used to measure quality are Commission on Cancer standards (94%) and patient satisfaction scores (91%), followed by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (36%), and the Physician Quality Reporting System (34%).
“As the landscape of cancer care evolves, cancer programs are evaluating the quality of their services and striving to improve and to implement best practices,” said ACCC President Virginia T. Vaitones, MSW, OSW-C. “ACCC’s survey shows that more cancer programs are investing in patient navigation services, cancer survivorship services, and genetic counseling.”
New Commission on Cancer Standards, which go into effect in 2015, may be driving the uptick in these expanded services for cancer patients.
Another key finding: patients and families continue to struggle with the cost of their cancer treatment. Despite the country’s slow economic recovery, cancer programs continue to see a high number of patients who need some type of financial assistance to help pay for treatment. Over the past 12 months, 88% of survey respondents report seeing more patients who need help paying for their prescription drugs. Cancer programs also indicate a rising number of under-insured patients who struggle with high co-payments and coinsurance costs. Transportation costs can also be challenging—especially for patients in rural areas or those who need to travel long distances to receive care. Three-quarters of respondents report that they are seeing an increase in the number of patients who need help with transportation expenses.
“This year’s survey of ACCC members provides nuanced insights into how the country’s sluggish economy and continued high rates of unemployment is affecting our cancer programs and the patients they treat,” said Vaitones. “The survey reveals how cancer programs are working to ensure patient access to quality care while balancing efforts to control costs, measure quality, and implement new standards.”
The Trends in Community Cancer Centers survey is a joint project between ACCC and Eli Lilly, and was conducted by the consulting firm of Oncology Reimbursement Management. This is the fourth year in which the survey has been conducted. The survey is available to ACCC members and on request.
Key Survey Findings