American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

CoC Comments on Recent IOM Report on Cancer Care in the US

CoC says much work is already in progress to ensure the delivery of high quality care; affirms it will work to implement IOM recommendations


CHICAGO (September 27, 2013): The Chicago-based Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons issued comments today in response to the September 10, Institute of Medicine Report (IOM), Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for System in Crisis, saying it “supports the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) thought generating committee report,” but does “not view our current cancer care system as one ‘in crisis.’ ”

“We think the report is well constructed and provides an excellent framework for improving the delivery of quality cancer care in the future,” CoC Chair, Daniel P. McKellar, MD, FACS, said. ”However, many of the quality issues addressed in the IOM report are already active initiatives of our organization, and have been for many years.”

“The Commission on Cancer has been the leader in quality reporting in cancer care since it was established in 1922. The CoC establishes standards for cancer programs to follow and it serves as a nationally recognized voluntary accrediting body for cancer programs across the country,” Dr. McKellar said.

CoC standards are followed by more than 1,500 cancer programs that it accredits. These standards “set a high bar—one that the CoC has found accredited programs are eager to meet, according to the CoC statement. “The CoC has been a leader in the development and monitoring of quality measures for cancer care and for holding cancer programs accountable for compliance with standards and measures of quality, ” according to David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, Medical Director, ACS Cancer Programs.

In response to the IOM report, the CoC also issued specific comments on the work it is undertaking in the areas of patient-centered communication and shared decision making; translating evidence into clinical practice, measuring quality, and improving cancer programs’ performance; and improving access to and affordability of cancer care, among other issues.

The CoC, one of the sponsors of this IOM report, said that it plans to “play a key role in the exploration of and implementation of the report’s recommendations going forward.”

View the entire Commission on Cancer’s comments document online at:

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About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

About the Commission on Cancer
The Commission on Cancer is a consortium of 52 professional organizations that establish cancer care standards and monitor quality at hospitals that it accredits. More than 1,500 hospitals in the United States and Puerto Rico are CoC accredited, representing only 30 percent of all institutions but more than 70 percent of all new cancer cases diagnosed annually. The CoC is administered by the Chicago-based American College of Surgeons.


Sally Garneski
Dan Hamilton