Oncology Practice Management Issues

June 2017, Vol 7, No 6

ASCO’s New Patient-Centered Oncology Payment Model

Meg Barbor, MPH


Orlando, FL—The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has developed a proposal for an Alternative Payment Model that is focused on delivering value in oncology and supporting higher-quality and more affordable cancer care. Dan Zuckerman, MD, Executive Medical Director, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, and Past Chair, ASCO’s Clinical Practice Committee, discussed the details of the new Patient-Centered Oncology Payment model at ASCO’s first Oncology Practice Conference in March 2017. [ Read More ]

Supergroups: Sharing the Burden Put on Independent Oncology Practices

Meg Barbor, MPH

2017 Oncology Practice Conference Highlights

Orlando, FL—With many external pressures being put on independent oncology practices, such as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) legislation, 340B drug pricing, site-neutrality issues creating disparity, US Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) 797 and USP 800 guidelines, and quality reporting, oncology practices are struggling to bear the weight independently, and a team approach is more vital than ever. As a result, the allure of becoming part of a supergroup is hard to deny, said 2 presenters at ASCO’s first Oncology Practice Conference in March 2017. [ Read More ]

Combination Therapies Dominate NCCN Guidelines for Multiple Myeloma

Wayne Kuznar

Hematologic Malignancies, Multiple Myeloma, NCCN 2017 Conference Highlights

Orlando, FL—The ideal treatment in 2017 for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma is a combination of bor­tezomib (Velcade), lenalidomide (Revlimid), and dexamethasone. Bortezomib-based maintenance therapy is particularly relevant in patients with high-risk disease and residual disease, and in the relapsed setting, triplet therapy is preferred over doublet therapy. These are among the key therapeutic points in the current National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guideline for the management of multiple myeloma (version 3.2017), said Shaji K. Kumar, MD, Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Rochester, MN, at the 2017 NCCN annual conference. He discussed the use of current therapies based on the NCCN guidelines. [ Read More ]

Preparing to Implement MACRA: Implications for Oncology Practices

Gail Thompson

2017 Cancer Center Business Summit Highlights

Las Vegas, NV—Death and taxes are inevitable, and so are the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) changes for all medical practices across the country, (not just for oncology). Practices may choose how far to dip their toes into MACRA or into the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) waters, but they will be penalized, rewarded, or not affected in 2019 based on their decisions in 2017. Strategic planning for practices often spans 3 to 5 years; there is a very real financial component that affects oncology practices’ billing and revenues 2 years out and beyond. [ Read More ]

Select Clinical Trials Currently Enrolling Patients with Melanoma

Clinical Trials Tracker

The following clinical trials represent a selection of key studies that are currently recruiting patients with melanoma for inclusion in investigations of new therapies or new regimens of existing treatments for patients with melanoma. Each description includes the NLM Identifier to be used as a reference with ClinicalTrials.gov. This information can help oncology practice managers and providers direct eligible patients to an appropriate clinical trial. [ Read More ]

Identifying Correct Molecular Target Essential for Treating Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Wayne Kuznar

NCCN 2017 Conference Highlights

Orlando, FL—Non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) comprises several different subtypes, necessitating broad molecular panel testing to understand the correct diagnosis and the appropriate treatment, said Wallace Akerley, MD, Senior Director, Community Oncology Research, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, at the 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) annual conference. [ Read More ]

Adding Indoximod to Pembrolizumab Boosts Immune Response in Melanoma

Phoebe Starr


Washington, DC—Adding the investigational drug indoximod, an indole­amine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) pathway inhibitor, to the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) led to higher response rates in patients with advanced melanoma than what is reported with pembrolizumab monotherapy, said lead investigator Yousef Zakharia, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Hema­tology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation, University of Iowa, Iowa City, at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research meeting. [ Read More ]

FDA News – June 2017

FDA Approvals, News & Updates

  • Alunbrig, an Oral Kinase Inhibitor, Receives FDA Approval for NSCLC with ALK Mutation
  • Rydapt First Drug in Decades Approved by the FDA for Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Stivarga First Drug in a Decade Approved by the FDA for Liver Cancer
  • Atezolizumab Approved as First-Line Treatment for Advanced Bladder Cancer in Some Patients
  • Tagrisso Receives Full Approval for NSCLC with EGFR T790M Mutation
  • Bavencio, a PD-L1 Inhibitor, First Nonchemotherapy Drug Approved for Merkel-Cell Carcinoma
[ Read More ]