Defining Value in Cancer Care

The shift to focus on value in healthcare has changed the definition of what it means to be a physician in the United States, and professional societies, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are thinking about this issue heavily in order to provide guidance to their members, said Pete P. Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO, president of ASCO.
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The shift to focus on value in healthcare has changed the definition of what it means to be a physician in the United States, and professional societies, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are thinking about this issue heavily in order to provide guidance to their members, said Pete P. Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO, president of ASCO.

During his keynote speech, Dr Yu discussed the problem of measurement—namely, that healthcare does not have strong outcomes measures. Without those, it is difficult to determine what value truly is.

“Having more robust outcomes measures is key to improve the value of what we as physicians do,” he explained.

He also highlighted the results of an annual ASCO survey of oncology practices that revealed a 25% reduction in private practices from 2012 to 2013, with mostly smaller practices joining larger ones or being bought by hospitals. This shift represents a barrier to access to care since small and medium practices see a third of new cancer patients.

During his keynote, Dr Yu also promoted ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practic Initiative, which certifies practices based on their performance in areas of patient care and safety; offered principles for a value-based payment reform initiative; and discussed ASCO’s CancerLinQ data platform.

 
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