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Call to Action: Community Oncologists Propose 'Roadmap' to Reformed Payment System for Cancer Care; Quality Cancer Care Demonstration Project Will Create System, Enhancing Quality Cancer Care While Controlling Costs
Date:5/26/2009

WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) announced today that it has created the Quality Cancer Care Demonstration (QCCD) project, a landmark initiative to transform the payment system for cancer care. The QCCD will focus on patients covered by Medicare (approximately 45% of cancer patients), involving the collection of data and implementation of a patient-centric program that enhances quality cancer care while controlling costs.

"The need for healthcare reform is especially critical to cancer care. The increasing cost of drugs, declining Medicare reimbursement, and current financial crisis have created a 'perfect storm' that jeopardizes community cancer care, which 84% of Americans fighting the disease rely on," explained Patrick Cobb, M.D., president of COA and managing partner of Hematology-Oncology Centers of the Northern Rockies in Billings, Montana. "The Quality Cancer Care Demonstration project offers a means of moving forward immediately and an architecture for a solution to the current crisis in cancer care."

"There are many concepts being suggested on how to reform the healthcare payment system, but few tangible programs actually developed by medical practitioners, rather than policy wonks," stated Ted Okon, Executive Director of COA, "The Quality Cancer Care Demonstration project is a substantive program developed by oncologists over the past year to enhance the delivery of quality cancer care."

Crisis in Cancer Care

Though the U.S. has the best cancer care delivery system in the world, the system is now in first-stage crisis because Medicare has substantially cut payment for cancer drugs and essential services. Community cancer clinics have had to close satellite facilities and cut staff. Smaller clinics are struggling to operate and more will close.

Increasing numbers of Americans with inadequa
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SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance
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