Patient Priorities Should be Paramount when Measuring Quality in Cancer Care According to Panelists at NCCN Policy Summit
National Comprehensive Cancer Network hosts summit on defining, measuring, and applying quality in an evolving health policy landscape and the implications for cancer care. #NCCNPolicy
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) hosted a policy summit at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, today, addressing how to define, measure, and apply quality in cancer care. Speakers across the cancer care continuum shared perspectives on current quality measurement initiatives including the Oncology Care Model and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and looked ahead to future trends in this area.
"A lot of effort has already gone toward measuring quality via various reporting programs in order to improve performance," said Ronald S. Walters, MD, MBA, MHA, MS, Associate Head for the Institute for Cancer Care Innovation, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Chair, NCCN Board of Directors. "However, there are still many opportunities to expand quality metrics in order to make them more relevant and meaningful for both providers and patients. Feasible and low-burden measures need to represent quality across the continuum of care, and be as coordinated and non-fragmented as possible. This summit gives us a chance to discuss the current status for quality measurement programs while also thinking about what we may need in the future."
Speakers discussed how quality measurement can serve as a tool for improving patient outcomes.
"Measuring the quality of cancer care that we deliver is essential for understanding current performance and outcomes and identifying any gaps in care," said Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, FACP, FASCO, Deputy Director for Clinical Services, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. "It's naïve to assume that our cancer care is excellent without measuring it. We must be thoughtful in choosing measures that are relevant to meaningful quality and linked to patient outcomes. Measurements should be easily attainable without adding administrative burdens—ideally by extracting them from electronic health records or cancer registries, rather than by manual chart abstraction—and must be repeatedly measured with an approach geared toward continuous process improvement."