Calculating the Steeper Costs of Cancer

Anxiety and fatigue are among palpable issues that extend beyond just fighting the disease.

While there is much hopeful news these days on the cancer treatment front, a new report finds that many patients are suffering from unmet financial, emotional, and physical needs.

Many struggle with serious anxiety, fatigue, and difficulty working, according to the Cancer Support Community report. As they live longer, patients say they need more help coping with long-term side effects. A significant portion have skimped on medical care and many have cut spending on food to save money. Forty-two percent of patients reported high levels of anxiety about the financial cost of cancer. (more…)

Almost 2,000 Lung Cancer Patients Missing Out on Surgery Every Year

Around 1,800 lung cancer patients may be missing out on life-saving surgery each year, according to the latest regional cancer statistics from Cancer Research UK.

New data on Cancer Research UK’s ‘Local Cancer Statistics’ website has revealed a worrying number of lung cancer* patients in England may not be having surgery as part of their treatment. And around 1,000 of these patients are not having operations despite their disease being diagnosed at an early stage, when surgery is more likely to be successful. (more…)

Early Palliative Care Can Cut Hospital Readmissions for Cancer Patients

DURHAM, N.C. — Doctors at Duke University Hospital have developed a new collaborative model in cancer care that reduced the rates at which patients were sent to intensive care or readmitted to the hospital after discharge.

The Duke researchers shared their findings today at the Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.


Living With Breast Cancer – as a Man

Men are often forgotten in the sea of pink.

Though breast cancer is more rare in men than women, the risk factors are the same for both.

Last December, Christopher Gallo felt a weird lump under his nipple, about the size of a peanut. He put it out of his mind and went on with his life. By March, it hadn’t gone away, and he and his wife became concerned. “I went to my doctor, and he immediately sent me to undergo more tests,” says Gallo, 43. “On March 13, my diagnosis came back. I had breast cancer.” (more…)

COA Holds Payer Exchange Summit on Oncology Payment Reform in DC

Over 120 oncology providers, payers, and industry representatives will meet today in a forum to discuss oncology payment reform hosted by COA. This is a landmark event that marks COA’s ongoing commitment to advancing oncology payment reform in the context of quality, affordable, and accessible cancer care.

Click here to view the agenda with the list of the sponsors, who we thank for their support.

Nation’s Cancer Care Infrastructure Consolidating, Increasing Costs And Creating Access Issues

Nation’s Cancer Care Infrastructure Consolidating, Increasing Costs And Creating Access Issues

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) today released its fifth annual Community Oncology Practice Impact Report. The report documents an 82% increase in cancer clinic closings and a 143% increase in consolidation into hospitals since the first report in 2010, which reported on activity from 2008 to 2010. Over the past 8 years, 313 cancer treatment facilities have closed and 544 community cancer practices have been acquired by or affiliated with hospitals. New to this year’s report, COA tracked that over the past 2 years 74.5% of the acquisitions/affiliations have been with hospitals receiving 340B drug discounts. (more…)

It’s Time for Congress to Make Integrated Care Central to the Nation’s Patient Experience

The primary objective of our health care system is to ensure that quality health care is readily accessible for patients. However, as health care becomes increasingly entangled in a web of networks, insurers, and providers, the patient’s best interest can get lost.

As a physician overseeing a network of dedicated health care professionals, I know firsthand that we can do better. But, the physician community can’t do this on our own. We need Congress and the administration to advance payment reform policies that strengthen integrated care models that are already showing great promise. (more…)

Susan G. Komen Targets a New Generation

CEO Judith Salerno Aims to Reignite the Charity by Appealing to Younger People

When Susan G. Komen’s president and chief executive, Judith A. Salerno, took over the nonprofit a year ago, the Dallas-based breast-cancer group was just emerging from its worst fundraising and public-relations crisis.

The trouble began in February 2012, when Komen announced a policy to cut grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates. Though the amount of the grants—mainly targeted toward education—was well under $1 million, the backlash against Komen’s policy shift was swift and massive, and divided women’s-health advocates across the U.S. (more…)

Health Care Reform Implementation Update

In the past week, CMS has released several advisories including updates to the rating system for nursing homes, premium and deductible information for Medicare Part B and Part D for 2015, Pioneer ACO results, payment dispute settlements, and insurance fee FAQs. Even though they are out of session, a group of congressional members asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a legal opinion regarding the risk corridor program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission held its most recent round of meetings on October 9 and 10. Countdown to the second open enrollment period under the ACA is one month now. (more…)

60 Minutes Acknowledges COA Blasted It for Reporting Inaccuracies in Cancer Drug Costs Show

As we posted last week, COA was contacted by 60 Minutes earlier in the year about a segment on cancer drug pricing. Several of the COA leadership told the accurate story on camera, as well as provided 60 Minutes with data supporting the quality and cost efficiency of community oncology providers. Unfortunately, 60 Minutes ignored the facts in order to fit what seems to be pre-determined conclusion within their story on cancer drug pricing. COA blasted 60 Minutes in a letter from President Bruce Gould, MD about the inaccuracies and the adverse impact false information can have on cancer patients. Reporter Lesley Stahl acknowledged the letter on air on 60 Minutes.  (more…)