ACCC 2017 Survey Shows Cost of Treatment Is Top Threat to Cancer Program Growth


The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) 8th annual Trending Now in Cancer Care survey, conducted in partnership with Advisory Board’s Oncology Roundtable, has identified current and emerging trends across U.S. cancer programs. When asked to identify the top threats to future cancer program growth, 68% of survey respondents selected cost of drugs and/or new treatment modalities as the number 1 threat. Forty-seven percent named physician alignment around services and program goals, and 46% cited changes in health-care coverage.

“From barriers to care to opportunities for cost savings to benchmarking data to support short- and long-term strategic planning, these survey results highlight our commitment to helping our members thrive—not merely survive—in a tumultuous and ever-changing health-care environment,” said ACCC President Mark S. Soberman, MD, MBA, FACS.

More Survey Responses

More than 290 respondents from 209 organizations participated in the 2017 survey.

Respondents additionally identified cuts to fee-for-service reimbursement and the move to value-based care as significant threats to cancer program growth. One in three reported marketplace competition as a top threat.

Asked to identify their greatest opportunities for cost savings, respondents overwhelmingly pointed toward clinical standardization (63%) and drugs (62%). Providers see clinical standardization as a way to help reduce variation in care and eliminate duplicative services, thereby realizing cost savings. Nearly 30% of respondents intend to improve clinical standardization by adopting clinical pathways for medical oncology—either vendor sponsored or homegrown. One in four survey respondents expect to realize cost savings by reducing capital expenses such as radiation and imaging equipment.

The survey results also reveal trends around:

  • Market consolidation and the rise in marketplace partnerships
  • Participation in value-based contracts
  • Barriers to meeting accreditation and quality reporting requirements

About the Survey

The Oncology Roundtable and the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) partnered to collect information on the key issues affecting cancer care providers across the country. The survey was distributed via e-mail on July 24, 2017; participation was restricted to cancer program administrators and providers. A total of 293 people from 209 institutions submitted responses over the subsequent 6 weeks.

Survey highlights are available on the ACCC website ( The full report is available to ACCC members and Advisory Board Oncology Roundtable members.

About Advisory Board

Advisory Board is a best practices firm that uses a combination of research, technology, and consulting to improve the performance of more than 4,500 health-care organizations. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices worldwide, Advisory Board forges and finds the best new ideas and proven practices from its network of thousands of leaders, then customizes and hardwires them into every level of member organizations, creating enduring value. For more information, visit

Pfizer Oncology provides funding and support to ACCC for the Trending Now in Cancer Care survey.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.