October 2020, Vol 10, No 10

In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the oncology community has been buffeted by a cacophony of headlines and concerns regarding the cost of care, value-based performance contracts, staffing shortages, revenue cycles, clinical pathways, and competition. Entire industries, such as medical benefit managers, have sprung up to oversee providers and ensure that they are delivering only medically necessary care. Although we know that all of the things we do on a daily basis are aimed at improving the lives of patients, this extraneous noise can be distracting and disconcerting. Read More ›

Leading global drug manufacturers have been called on to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in myriad ways, and several of their top executives discussed those responses in an August 11 webcast sponsored by the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. Read More ›

Who determines how successful we are at providing high-quality cancer care? It is our patients and their caregivers, as well as our communities. Most healthcare organizations have specific teams and tools designated to focus on improving the patient experience. They know that patient satisfaction is vital, and invest in teaching this to their leaders and holding them accountable to achieve the best possible satisfaction scores. As we continue to work toward value-based payer models, it is imperative that we emphasize the importance of service excellence. Read More ›

Employers are not likely to make major changes in their benefit designs for 2021, said experts in an August 12 webcast sponsored by the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. Art Taft, MBA, MEng, Managing Director, MedWorks, moderated the session with F. Randy Vogenberg, PhD, RPh, FASHP, Board Chair, Employer-Provider Interface Council, Hospital Quality Foundation, and Principal, Institute for Integrated Healthcare; and James Startare, MS, Vice President of Benefits, Aramark, the food services, facilities, and uniform provider, which has more than 270,000 employees in 19 countries. Read More ›

What are the practical implications of a flurry of recent healthcare-related actions taken by Congress, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the White House? In summary, “Some can happen, some will take significant effort, but most are just political grandstanding as we get closer to the election,” said Jayson Slotnik, JD, MPH, Partner, Health Policy Strategies, Bethesda, MD, and the moderator of an August 13 public policy webcast from the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. Read More ›

Each individual can choose the way he or she reacts to the topic of death; it is a unique journey for each of us. In general, our experiences can be divided into 2 types: coming to terms with our own death and experiencing the death of others. In his newly released book, Between Life and Death: From Despair to Hope, Kashyap Patel, MD, explores both of these perspectives as he recounts the story of a terminally ill patient named Harry, who has decided to accept death with the fullest spirit and without hesitation, and who tries to prepare for his own death by learning about other patients’ experiences. Read More ›

The following clinical trials represent a selection of key studies that are currently recruiting patients with prostate cancer for inclusion in investigations of new therapies and new regimens of existing treatments for patients with prostate cancer. Each clinical trial description includes the NLM Identifier to be used as a reference with ClinicalTrials.gov. The information below can help oncology practice managers and providers direct their eligible patients to one of these clinical trials. Read More ›

“COVID-19 is more than just the common cold. It represents a perpetual challenge for which we have to be perpetually prepared,” stated Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD), in his keynote lecture at the July 2020 AACR virtual meeting on COVID-19 and cancer. Dr Fauci has been Director of NIAD for 36 years. Read More ›

One question on oncologists’ minds recently is whether treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with cancer has a negative effect on COVID-19 disease. So far, the data have not shown a deleterious effect, but the definitive answer is unknown. In fact, some experts think immune checkpoint inhibitors may have a positive effect on the virus. Read More ›

During the July 2020 AACR virtual meeting on COVID-19 and cancer, Solange Peters, MD, PhD, European Society for Medical Oncology President, and Head, Medical Oncology Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland, delivered the keynote address, providing an update on the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium cohort study. Read More ›

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