Community Oncology Alliance Annual Conference

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is the only organization focused on oncology care delivery in the community setting, the setting where most Americans with cancer are treated. COA aims to ensure that patients with cancer are able to receive quality cancer care that is affordable and accessible in their own communities. For more than 15 years, COA has worked to build a national network of community oncology practices to advocate for better public policies to benefit patients.

This year, COA held its annual conference in National Harbor, Maryland. The conference theme was keeping patients and their needs paramount in transforming the US cancer care system. Community oncology practices and allied professionals gathered to share and hear insights on how to overcome challenges to patient care that they face on a daily basis. Over 1300 oncology professionals attended the conference, which was categorized into 4 different tracks of presentations and sessions: the clinical track, business track, pharmacy track, and advocacy track.

Journal of Clinical Pathways was in attendance to provide on-site coverage of the keynote sessions and other presentations from the conference. 

Integrating Palliative Care in Oncology Practice to Ensure Better Quality of Life

Rebecca Kirch, JD, executive vice president, Healthcare Quality & Value, National Patient Advocate Foundation, explained the value of palliative care in the context of the Triple Aim.

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From Clinical Use to Reimbursement: An Update on Biosimilars in the US

Robert M Rifkin, MD, FACP, medical director, biosimilars, McKesson Specialty Health, the US Oncology Network, gave an updated presentation on the basics, education, and reimbursement of biosimilars, stating that “this will be a huge year” for the copycat biologics in the United States.

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Opioid Epidemic, 340B Drug Discount Program Substantially Impact Patients, Community Oncology Practices

Debra Patt, MD, MPH, MBA, vice president, Texas Oncology, spoke in her presentation about the major issues affecting patients with cancer and community practices in the United States.

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Site of Care Impacts Total Costs of Treatment Across Many Cancer Types

Lucio N Gordan, MD, medical director in the division of quality and informatics, Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, shared a variety of data suggesting that the general trend of cancer therapy being moved from the community setting to the hospital outpatient setting has resulted in significant cost increases.

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