Lung Cancer Care Quality Improvement Model Released by ACCC

A quality improvement tool called “Improving Care Coordination: A Model for Lung Cancer” released by the Association of Community Cancer Centers is a model framework to be used by cancer care providers to improve care coordination for patients with lung cancer who are covered by Medicaid.

A quality improvement tool called “Improving Care Coordination: A Model for Lung Cancer” released by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is a model framework to be used by cancer care providers to improve care coordination for patients with lung cancer who are covered by Medicaid.

This first-of-its-kind care model is based on an extensive research process and is available nationwide for cancer practices and programs that want to improve their methods for patients on Medicaid. This patient population experiences more negative outcomes for their lung cancer and this model addresses care specifically for them.

“The number-one deadliest cancer hits this patient population particularly hard for a number of reasons. We were looking to create a central hub where cancer centers could assess their care in specific areas and then access resources to improve those areas of their program,” Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH, the co-principal investigator, said in a statement.

Lathan, medical director at Dana-Farber, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, and the other co-principal investigator, Randall Oyer, MD, medical director at Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, developed this lung cancer care model through peer-to-peer collaboration. They involved oncology providers, lung cancer experts, industry researchers, epidemiologists, patient advocates, and administrators to participate in the Advisory Committee and Technical Expert Panel for this project.

The model is executive through 12 assessments areas: patient entry into lung cancer program; multidisciplinary treatment planning; clinical trials; supportive care; survivorship care; financial, transportation, and housing; tobacco education; navigation; treatment team integration; physician engagement; electronic health records (EHR) and patient access to information; and quality measurement and improvement. Each area allows the user to select which level their program comes in at, from 1 to 5, with specific description for each level.

The improvement model allows oncology programs to take advantage of these 12 assessment areas to assess strengths and weaknesses at their organization, identify barriers in coordinating care, and boost the quality of their patient’s journey from diagnosis to survivorship care, no matter the size of the program or practice. Any member of the multidisciplinary team can access the model and lead their quality improvement at their organization.

“This is a unique quality improvement model that will help programs regardless of prior experience with self-assessment and self-directed improvement,” Oyer said in a press release. “It’s not one size fits all. Regardless of resources, cancer programs of any size can identify areas of interest for improvement that they can address, making the model scalable and effective for quality improvement.”

A critical component of the developing this care model was participation from experts in lung cancer and those in the cancer community. ACCC Cancer Program Members were welcome to apply and test the model at their site. There were 7 testing sites that took on unique quality improvement projects for a 12-month time span, which started in October 2017 and ended in September of 2018. Centers involved included Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Cancer Care Program; Ascension Wheaton Memorial Medical Center; Cowell Family Cancer Center, Munson Healthcare; Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center; Genesis HealthCare System, Genesis Cancer Care Center; Northwest Medical Specialties, PLLC; and Southern Ohio Medical Center, Southern Ohio Medical Center Cancer Care.

By the end, each of the 12 assessment areas had over 100 quality measures associated with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Merit-based Incentive Payment System, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Quality Oncology Practice Initiative, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Patient-Centered Specialty Practice, Agency for Health Research and Quality, Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, and the Commission of Cancer 220 Cancer Program Standards.

Reference:

Association of Community Cancer Centers releases lung cancer care quality improvement model. News release. ACCC. August 13, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2020. https://bit.ly/3l57dxB