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The Impact of Healthcare Affiliations on the Registry
Healthcare Affiliations

Healthcare affiliations were a hot topic at the ACE 21st Annual Meeting I attended last week. Affiliations between health systems, hospitals and physician practices are becoming more common in the healthcare environment. Healthcare affiliations come in several varieties including tiered affiliations, wholly owned and staffed by the health system, joint ventures, and narrow affiliations.

The relationship between a health system and the affiliate can vary greatly in each of these situations, from being fully owned and managed by the health system to simply using the name of the health system to capitalize on its prestige without many other changes. 

Knowing how facilities are related to one another is very important when abstracting cases for the cancer registry – specifically when it comes to class of case. Healthcare affiliations add an additional level of complexity to figuring out how to code class of case, and whether or not certain facilities or physician practices should be considered as part of the system or facility for which you are abstracting.

One helpful hint for clarifying the relationships that exist between facilities and creating consistency in coding is to create a facility relationship document to be used by all registrars abstracting for a system. Representatives from the registry should come together with a cancer program administrator to plot out the relationship between the system and various affiliated entities in a document that also includes:

  • The facility code with which each entity should be associated.
  • The name of each entity.
  • What type of facility each entity is.
  • The type of relationship each entity has within the health system.
  • Whether or not each entity should be included as a facility case. 

This document is invaluable when attempting to interpret relationships within a system to create consistency in coding facilities and improving the quality of class of case in your registry. 

What other impacts have you seen healthcare affiliations making on the cancer registry?

Learn about CHAMPS’ management solutions for your cancer registry services.

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