Ensuring access to appropriate data and using that information to improve healthcare outcomes remains an ongoing challenge. This was the conclusion drawn by panelists participating at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Oncology Policy Summit on Redefining Quality Measurement in Oncology, held September 25 in Washington, DC.
The biggest challenge, the panelists said, involved gathering cutting-edge data. “We have limited access to data,” said Andrew York, PharmD, JD, CMS. While CMS has created a registry of what it considers high-quality data, “Feasibility is hard, and it’s also hard for us to implement changes.” There are practical and operational challenges.
According to Mary Lou Smith, JD, MBA, of the Research Advocacy Network, the dearth of a high number of enrollees in adult clinical trials is another issue. “With a 5% adult trial enrollment rate, using real-world evidence to inform drug development is a challenge,” she said.
Physician buy-in, especially when documenting information around things like pain and hospice/palliation is important, according to IHPI member Jennifer Griggs, MD, MPH, University of Michigan, as is care coordination. “However, it is important to define exactly what needs to be coordinated,” she said.
Griggs narrated her experience at Michigan with patient interaction: measuring anxiety, stress, and non–cancer-related issues. “The 17 measures that evolved following their patient interaction lined up well with ASCO [American Society of Clinical Oncology]’s measures submitted under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.” While these measures have been identified, operationalizing them, is the next step, she said.