Speakers Bureau



Vontyna Smith, MPA,
Director of Client Operations

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Theresa Gerboc, CTR,
Quality Control Coordinator, CHAMPS Oncology

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July 06, 2012 (Cleveland)

CHAMPS Oncology’s Education Symposium Discusses Commission on Cancer Standards, Survivorship Care and Other Patient-Centered Topics



On Tuesday, June 26, more than 150 healthcare professionals from six states attended CHAMPS Oncology’s educational symposium, CHAMPioning Patient-Centered Care, at the Holiday Inn near downtown Cleveland.

The conference, which was CHAMPS second annual, brought together physicians, cancer program administrators, nurses, patient navigators, social workers, hospital reimbursement staff, and cancer registrars to discuss, ask questions and learn about the many sides of patient-centered care, including survivorship care, patient navigation, accountability, psychosocial distress and value-based purchasing.

Driving this discussion – and top of mind for many cancer program administrators and registrars – were the new 2012 Commission on Cancer (CoC) Standards, which require CoC-accredited cancer programs to expand their focus on the patient and their families. While, in general, cancer programs are always striving for enhanced quality care and patient outcomes, the financing and operational execution of these new standards have created some confusion and concern for many cancer programs. The goal of CHAMPS Oncology’s educational symposium was to provide some clarity and to address those areas of concern. And to do so, CHAMPS brought in several well-respected presenters to discuss their best practices and experiences in implementing different facets of patient-centered care.

Kicking off the day’s line-up of presenters was Dr. Valeriy Moysaenko, MD, FACS, a CoC surveyor, who discussed the new CoC Standards and the role of the Cancer Liaison Physician during his presentation on accountability and quality cancer care. “Under many of the new CoC Standards, the Cancer Liaison Physician of a CoC-accredited cancer program needs to play a very active role,” said Dr. Moysaenko.

Next up, and generating the liveliest conversation of the day, was Dr. Scott D. Siegel’s, “Providing High-Quality Survivorship Care.” As a licensed psychologist, Dr. Siegel successfully implemented a survivorship care program, led by a clinical navigator, at the Christiana Care Health System’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center in Newark, Delaware. His experience, data and outcomes on the cost and value of survivorship care spurred a lot of questions and also led some attendees and Dr. Siegel, himself, to state that while the CoC’s standard on survivorship care is positive – in that it encourages dialogue on the subject – it may need to continue to be flushed out as cancer programs attempt to comply with this new standard.

“Today there are more than 12-million cancer survivors, and that number will continue to grow exponentially,” said Dr. Siegel. “So we need to address their psychosocial needs, during treatment and beyond. My advice to cancer programs is don’t take on too much, too quickly. Know your survivorship population and focus in on them,” he said.

Of particular interest to many attendees was Dr. Siegel’s internal research on common long-term and late effects of being diagnosed with and treated for cancer. His survey results showed that the most commonly noted concern of a cancer patient was “fear of recurrence.” And while this may not be surprising to many, Dr. Siegel pointed out that it is neither a commonly discussed topic among physicians nor in the families of cancer survivors. “After treatment, the family of a cancer survivor can more easily transition back into everyday life, while the cancer survivor can be haunted with a fear of recurrence indefinitely,” said Dr. Siegel.

Following Dr. Siegel was Carol Santalucia, president of Santalucia Group, and Kathy Andrews, senior manager of Accenture Health Practice, who teamed up to present “Building a Patient Navigation Program to Improve the Patient Experience and the Organization’s Bottom Line.” During their presentation Santalucia and Andrews discussed the valuable role a lay patient navigator can play in the healthcare setting. “[A lay navigator] provides one-on-one guidance and assistance to a patient through the healthcare system,” Santalucia explained. “This is critical to building trust and reducing anxiety for the patient.”

Their presentation focused on Dr. Harold P. Freeman’s Patient Navigation Institute and how Accenture is working with partners across the country to train lay navigators and to place them at facilities that benefit from their services. Santalucia explained how her company has partnered with The Center for Health Affairs, the leading advocate for Northeast Ohio hospitals, and its business affiliate, CHAMPS Healthcare, to create a new patient experience service offering for hospitals. This partnership was launched with a pilot program to train and place two lay navigators at two Northeast Ohio hospitals. During the first year of this pilot, the salary of these navigators is being paid by The Center for Health Affairs with support from Accenture. After the pilot, the data will be used to prove the return on investment and to expand the reach of the lay navigator program in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

A presentation on psychosocial distress screening was then presented by The MetroHealth System’s Amy Shaper, MSW, LSW, social work coordinator, and Rosanne Radziewicz, RN, PMHCNS-BC, psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. Their presentation focused on the new CoC standard that requires CoC-accredited cancer programs to provide a psychosocial distress screening and services to patients at-risk. Shaper and Radziewicz explained The MetroHealth System’s process and the tools available to assist cancer programs in executing this new standard. “Depression screening tools available include The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), and the Hospitals Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS),” said Shaper.

And wrapping up the day’s conversation was Dr. Mark S. Soberman, MD, MBA, FACS, medical director of the oncology service line at the Frederick Regional Health System. His presentation on value-based purchasing served as a strong reminder to all in attendance that no-matter the constitutionality or political outcome of health reform, hospitals have realized a change in healthcare. “The Affordable Care Act has set in motion forces that will change the way we deliver and are paid for oncology care,” said Dr. Soberman. “There will continue to be downward pressure on reimbursement and as a result the market is setting expectations for coordinated, multidisciplinary, patient-centered oncology care.”

CHAMPS Oncology was pleased with the outcome of the event. “It was exciting to have a multifaceted team of presenters who provided valuable information, insight and best practices to address the needs of the cancer patient and their families,” said Vice President of CHAMPS Oncology Toni Hare, RHIT, CTR, a Commission on Cancer-trained Consultant. “And having 98 percent of our registered attendees show up makes us feel certain that the day’s patient-centered discussion continues to be of interest to cancer programs across the country.”

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CHAMPS Oncology partners with cancer programs nationwide to transform quality cancer data into valuable information — information that can be used to achieve accreditation, strategic planning, community outreach and cancer care objectives. With 35 years in the industry, CHAMPS provides clients with personalized and specialized compliance management services, including Commission on Cancer consulting; cancer registry management and operations; quality control; cancer information management; abstracting assistance; and workflow and productivity analysis. For more, visit www.CHAMPSoncology.com.