American Society of Clinical Oncology/National Comprehensive Cancer Network Quality Measures

Published In: Journal of Clinical Oncology, v. 26, no. 21, July 20, 2008, p. 3631-3637

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2007

by Christopher E. Desch, Kristen K. McNiff, Eric C. Schneider, Deborah Schrag, Joan McClure, Eva Lepisto, Molla S. Donaldson, Katherine L. Kahn, Jane Weeks, Clifford Y. Ko, Andrew K. Stewart, Stephen B Edge

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PURPOSE: The National Cancer Policy Board recommended the creation of quality measures and a national reporting system in 1999. Representatives from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) collaborated to create metrics suitable for national performance measurement. METHODS: Content and methodology experts nominated by ASCO and NCCN met to select and refine metrics for breast, colon, and rectal cancer based on National Initiative for Cancer Care Quality and NCCN measures and NCCN and ASCO guidelines. Measures were selected based on their impact on disease free and overall survival, the degree to which opportunities for improvement exist, and the feasibility of data collection. RESULTS: Three breast cancer measures and four colorectal cancer measures were chosen. Measures for breast cancer included adjuvant hormone therapy for hormone receptor-positive tumors, chemotherapy for hormone receptor-negative cancer, and radiation after lumpectomy. Colorectal measures included adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy for rectal cancer, and adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer. All but one were recommended as accountability measures and one for quality improvement (removal and examination of 12 or more lymph nodes in colon cancer). Specifications were developed for each measure using tumor registries as the data source. CONCLUSION: ASCO/NCCN measures can be implemented by health systems, provider groups or payors for improvementor accountability using local tumor registries to furnish data on staging and treatment.

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