ASCO Top Five List Highlighted in IOM Workshop

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As part of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) National Cancer Policy Forum workshop on delivering affordable cancer care in the 21st century, ASCO’s Top Five list was highlighted as an example of a way to improve quality of care for patients while reducing unnecessary costs.

Lowell Schnipper, MD, Chair of ASCO’s Cost of Cancer Care Task Force, spoke about the Top Five list and its impact on improving value and quality of cancer care.

“Physicians inherently want to do the right thing. Part of that means not performing medical tests or treatments that have little or no clinical benefit,” Dr. Schnipper said. “Guidance like that provided by ASCO’s Top Five list also helps physicians in the exam rooms when discussing treatment options with patients.”

Additionally, Dr. Schnipper highlighted the work of a Cost of Cancer Care Task Force policy statement that encourages physicians to address financial concerns and burdens with their patients.

“We set out with one initial principle in mind: The cost of cancer care should be a part of routine interaction with patients, giving the growing burden many of them are facing,” he said.

Evaluating the Impact

Dr. Schnipper also emphasized the need to measure and evaluate the impact of ASCO’s Top Five list. To that end, ASCO is currently planning on incorporating the Top Five list items into its measures set as part of the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative® to demonstrate physician behavior and uptake of the Top Five list recommendations. 

Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, praised ASCO’s efforts on the Top Five list and called on the Society to continue adding to its list.

The IOM workshop included a series of panel discussions on policy issues related to the value, cost containment, and reimbursement of cancer care as well as the economic incentives for innovation and technology diffusion in cancer care. A full workshop summary is expected to be published in 2013.

On the heels of the IOM workshop, Consumer Reports recently featured ASCO’s Top Five List in an article designed to help patients and consumers understand the lists recommendations and what it means for patients being treated for cancer. View the article online by scanning the QR code above. ■

© 2013. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.