Association of Community Cancer Centers' 2017 Survey Shows Cost of Treatment is Once Again Top Threat to Cancer Program Growth

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Cancer News
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68 percent of respondents single out cost of drugs and new treatment modalities

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Amidst a dramatically changing healthcare landscape and increasingly competitive

market, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) eighth annual Trending Now in Cancer Care survey, which was conducted in partnership with Advisory Board's Oncology Roundtable, identifies current and emerging trends across U.S. cancer programs. When asked to identify the top threats to future cancer program growth, 68 percent of respondents selected cost of drugs and/or new treatment modalities as the number one threat, 47 percent named physician alignment around services and program goals, and 46 percent cited changes in healthcare coverage.

"From barriers to care to opportunities for cost-savings to benchmarking data to support short- and long-term strategic planning, these survey results highlight our commitment to helping our members thrive—not merely survive—in a tumultuous and ever-changing healthcare environment," said ACCC President Mark S. Soberman, MD, MBA, FACS.

Respondents also identified cuts to fee-for-service reimbursement and the move to value-based care as significant threats to cancer program growth. One in three reported marketplace competition as a top threat. More than 290 respondents from 209 organizations participated in the 2017 survey.

Asked to identify their greatest opportunities for cost savings, respondents overwhelmingly pointed toward clinical standardization (63%) and drugs (62%). Providers see clinical standardization as a way to help reduce variation in care and eliminate duplicative services, thereby realizing cost savings. Nearly 30 percent of respondents intend to improve clinical standardization by adopting clinical pathways for medical oncology, either vendor sponsored or homegrown. One in four survey respondents expect to realize cost savings by reducing capital expenses, such as radiation and imaging equipment. 

The ACCC Trending Now in Cancer Care survey provides insights into nationwide developments in the business of cancer care. With today's cancer patients acting more like consumers with a say in where they receive care, cancer programs continue to grow their service lines to meet this demand for personalized, patient-centered care, specifically around symptom management and survivorship.

The survey results also reveal trends around:

  • Market consolidation and the rise in marketplace partnerships
  • Participation in value-based contracts
  • Barriers to meeting accreditation and quality reporting requirements

These 2017 survey trends helped inform ACCC's agenda for its upcoming 44th Annual Meeting and Cancer Center Business Summit, March 14-16, 2018, in Washington, D.C.  

About the SurveyThe Oncology Roundtable and the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) partnered to collect information on the key issues affecting cancer care providers across the country. The survey was distributed via email on July 24, 2017; participation was restricted to cancer program administrators and providers. A total of 293 people from 209 institutions submitted responses over the subsequent six weeks. Survey highlights are available on the ACCC website The full report is available to ACCC members and Advisory Board Oncology Roundtable members. Pfizer Oncology provides funding and support to ACCC for the Trending Now in Cancer Care survey.

About the Association of Community Cancer CentersThe Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is the leading advocacy and education organization for the multidisciplinary cancer care team. More than 23,000 cancer care professionals from over 2,000 hospitals and practices nationwide are affiliated with ACCC. It is estimated that 65 percent of the nation's cancer patients are treated by a member of ACCC. Providing a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, ACCC is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the entire oncology care team. Our members include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, senior hospital executives, practice managers, pharmacists, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, social workers, and cancer program data managers. For more information, visit ACCC's website at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and read our blog, ACCCBuzz.

About Advisory BoardAdvisory Board is a best practices firm that uses a combination of research, technology, and consulting to improve the performance of 4,500+ healthcare organizations. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices worldwide, Advisory Board forges and finds the best new ideas and proven practices from its network of thousands of leaders, then customizes and hardwires them into every level of member organizations, creating enduring value. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Lori Gardner, Senior DirectorCommunications & Marketing301.984.5063

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SOURCE Association of Community Cancer Centers

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