Oncology Practice Management Issues

September 2018, Vol 8, No 9

Cannabis for Symptom Management in Cancer: Do You Know What Your Patients Are Using?

Meg Barbor, MPH

Medical Marijuana, Symptom Management

Patients with cancer are increasingly using cannabinoids (the chemical component of cannabis) to treat many symptoms, and a minority of them even take cannabis as a treatment for the cancer itself. Recent surveys have revealed that up to 25% of patients with cancer take some form of cannabis, but oncologists and other medical providers are often unaware that their patients are using medical (or recreational) cannabis. [ Read More ]

Dispelling Misconceptions About HCC Coding

Karyn M. Dyehouse, MD

Coding and Billing

Oncologists are operating in a whole new world as healthcare transitions to value-based care. To thrive in this emerging environment, providers must understand the many details involved in how value-based models work. Unlike fee-for-service payment models, the total cost of patient care plays a critical role in value-based reimbursement for an oncology practice. [ Read More ]

Timing of Palliative Care Consults Key in Elderly Patients with Pancreatic Cancer

Chase Doyle

Palliative Care

A claims analysis of elderly patients with pancreatic cancer has shown that those receiving early palliative care consultations had lower healthcare utilization than patients who received late palliative care. Data presented at ASCO 2018 showed that patients who received palliative care within 4 weeks of diagnosis had fewer visits to the emergency department (2.4 vs 3.0, respectively; P <.001) and lower emergency department–related costs ($3043 vs $4117, respectively). [ Read More ]

Best Practices: Evolving Understanding of Molecular Diagnostics and Biomarkers in Lung Cancer

Lauren Ritterhouse, MD, PhD; Geoff Oxnard, MD

2018 ASCO, Interview with the Innovators

At ASCO 2018, Oncology Practice Management (OPM) discussed the current state of genetics and genomic testing, the increasing understanding of biomarkers, and how they influence the treatment of patients with lung cancer. The discussion highlighted the interaction between oncologists and pathologists to facilitate best outcomes for patients. This interview included Lauren Ritterhouse, MD, PhD, Co-Director, Clinical Genomics Lab, University of Chicago, IL, and Geoff Oxnard, MD, Thoracic Oncologist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. [ Read More ]

TLR9 Agonist plus Immunotherapy May Overcome Resistance to PD-1 Inhibition

Phoebe Starr

Emerging Therapies

A novel approach using the investigational toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist CMP-001 in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) may have the potential to reverse resistance to anti–PD-1 therapy, according to data from a preliminary phase 1b clinical trial. The addition of CMP-001 to pembrolizumab was well-tolerated, with encouraging antitumor responses in patients with metastatic melanoma that progressed with or after treatment with a PD-1 inhibitor. [ Read More ]