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

July 2014 CoC Source

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CoC News

Advocacy Update

American Medical Association Resolution 115 - Opposition to Genetic Testing Restrictions Based on Specialty

The following language was adopted by the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) and is now policy of the AMA. Underlined text was added per testimony of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ACSO) and others, and is reflective of the language agreed to between ASCO and the American College of Surgeons.

RESOLVED, That our AMA oppose limiting the ordering of genetic testing based solely on physician specialty or other non-medical care based criteria (New HOD Policy); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA oppose public and private payers imposing a standard of practice with requirements for utilization of non-affiliated medical specialists or non-physicians prior to ordering genetic testing (New HOD Policy); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA, working with other interested specialty and component societies, communicate our opposition to non-medical restrictions to genetic testing to relevant health insurers (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA continue to support the importance of pre- and post-testing counseling when a patient is considered to be at risk for a hereditary susceptibility for cancer and other diseases by a qualified health professional so that patients have the benefit of informed decision-making regarding genetic testing. (New HOD Policy)

State Legislative Action

Click here to find a current list of cancer-related legislation that have either passed in the state legislature and await action by the governor or have passed the legislature and been signed by the governor to become law. If they have not been signed by the governor, there is a chance that they will not become law due to a governor’s veto or inaction.

Accreditation Corner

2014 Annual Update Initial Notification

It is once again time for the Program Activity Record (PAR) Annual Update period. The Annual Update period is July 1–September 30, 2014. All accredited cancer programs scheduled for survey in 2015 and 2016, excluding pending programs, are required to participate. Extensions will NOT be granted.

Your participation in the Annual Update process enables the CoC to:

  • Maintain accurate contact information for your cancer program staff and leadership, which facilitates communication between your program and the CoC
  • Gather current resources and services information for your cancer program, which is displayed in the CoC Hospital Locator
  • Track and evaluate the activities and concerns of your program’s Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP)

Completion of the Annual Update is a team effort by members of the cancer committee with one individual, who has access to password-protected CoC Datalinks, chosen to coordinate the activity and record and upload the information in the PAR.

Areas to Update in the PAR

Manage Staff Contacts

Review and update contact information for current cancer program staff and leadership, add new contacts, and review and delete outdated information.

To update contact information:

  1. Log into CoC Datalinks. Click on the “Manage Staff Contacts” link in the Main Facility Activity menu.
  2. Ensure that all names, titles, and e-mail addresses are up-to-date and correct.
  3. Remember to remove staff members who are no longer part of the cancer program.

Eligibility Requirement Section of the CoC Datalinks Activity Menu

  • Upload policies and procedures or other documentation that have been revised during the last 12-month period.
  • Record the date the cancer committee reviewed the revised policies and procedures or other documentation.
  • Review and update the resources and services provided by your program. It is important that this information is up-to-date because it is displayed in the CoC Hospital Locator.
  • Delete previous versions of the policies and procedures or other documentation before uploading the revised version.
  • Delete the previously recorded cancer committee review date before adding a new date.
  • If there have been no changes to the information recorded and attachments previously uploaded to the Eligibility Requirements section, then no action on your part is needed.

CLP Activity Report

  • The CLP is to complete this report based on 2013 activities.
  • The CLP activity report provides feedback and a barometer of the resources and educational tools made available to CLPs.

It is recommended that you review compliance with Standards 5.5 and 5.6 (NCDB submissions) now and address any questions or issues directly with NCDB staff at Please do not wait until the time of your survey.

The Facility Staff Contact information, Eligibility Requirement, and PAR sections are accessible from the CoC Datalinks Activity Menu.

The 2014 PAR will remain open for program use after the Annual Update period closes, and we encourage you to continually update the Survey Activity Record after this date as a record-keeping tool to document program activities as they occur.

Questions about the PAR or Annual Update should be sent to Questions regarding your CoC Datalinks User ID and Password should be sent to

We appreciate your participation in the Annual Update process and hope that you find the open access to the PAR a useful tool for your facility or network to manage ongoing cancer program activity between surveys.

National Cancer Data Base News

CP3R Updates

Following the release of the web-based Cancer Program Practice Profile Reports (CP3R) in March 2014, the NCDB staff has responded to feedback from CoC-accredited centers to add improvements to the current system. The general look and feel of CP3R remain the same, however, you will notice some important enhancements based on user feedback.

These enhancements include:

  • The screen size will adjust to your computer screen size.
  • The type of measure (accountability, quality improvement, or surveillance) has been added to the end of each measure description.
  • On the Facility Measures page, a column has been added to distinguish measures applicable to CoC Standards 4.4 and 4.5 and the associated benchmark.
  • A measure description has been added to the header of each title page.
  • The ability to search or filter each column for specific information has been added. This can be used to search for specific cases or types of cases. To do this:
  • Hover over the column
  • Click on the down arrows
  • The last option is “Filters,” which will allow you to enter the specifications you are looking for.

CoC Source - NCDB News image July 2014

If you have any questions on the changes, please contact the NCDB staff at

Resources for Cancer Liaison Physicians

Are You Being Surveyed?

The Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) is expected to be present during the CoC survey, and available to meet one on one with the surveyor. As the CLP, you can expect that this meeting is confidential and that the surveyor will be supportive of the challenges and opportunities that you face in your efforts to evaluate and improve the quality-of-care in your cancer program.

Educational Programs and Resources

Registration Now Open for Accreditation 101 on September 12 in San Antonio

Registration is now open for Accreditation 101 - Learning the Basics of CoC Accreditation and Standards in San Antonio, TX on Friday, September 12.

Our first program in February sold out, so in order to accommodate numerous requests, we will repeat Accreditation 101. Register now to attend the only program developed by the professionals involved in CoC standards development and the survey process.

The program agenda will provide information on how to meet the standards and prepare for your accreditation survey. Review the program brochure and see for yourself why the February program sold-out! Register today and do not forget to make your hotel reservation while space is still available.

Early registration (on or before August 11): $395
Registration after August 11: $450

Hotel rate: $189 per night

For further information, contact Andréa Scrementi at
For exhibit opportunities, contact Eunice Oh at

News from ACoS Cancer Programs


Collaborative Stage Transition June Newsletter

The Collaborative Stage Transition Newsletter is a communication update from organizations within the cancer surveillance community to share with their members and other constituents. It addresses the processes and ongoing efforts to coordinate the transition from the Collaborative Staging (CS) v2 system to use of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging standard with related biomarkers and prognostic factors. This is the second edition in the series of communication updates. Shortly after the transition was approved, a CS Transition Group was formed as an information sharing and planning forum. This group combines the four data collection agencies/organizations (Statistics Canada’s Canadian Council of Cancer Registries; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries; National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program; and the Commission on Cancer), the agency responsible for staging rules (AJCC), the cancer surveillance umbrella organization (North American Association of Central Cancer Registries), and the organization representing cancer registry professionals (National Cancer Registrars Association). The CS Transition Group provides a collaborative opportunity to identify the issues involved and to share the tasks involved in developing best practices for both the overall surveillance community and the individual agencies/organizations in addressing this change.

Read the full newsletter


NAPBC Wants to Hear from You!

  • Is your breast center considering National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) accreditation?
  • Are you in the process of applying for NAPBC accreditation?
  • Are you going through your second or third NAPBC accreditation cycle?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, we want to hear from you! The NAPBC is giving you the opportunity to voice your educational and resource needs. Please participate in this survey (only three questions) to provide your valuable feedback!

Follow NAPBC on Twitter! @NAPBC_ACS

News from the Oncology Community


Terri Richardson Installed as President of NCRA

Terri Richardson, RHIA, CTR, was installed as the president of the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) at its Annual Educational Conference in Nashville, TN, on May 18. In her role as president, Ms. Richardson will represent the organization at regional and national meetings and support its mission to promote education, credentialing, and advocacy for cancer registry professionals.

Ms. Richardson has a well-established career in cancer registry management and earned her certified tumor registrar (CTR) credential in 1997. She is the manager of cancer data services at DeKalb Medical in Decatur, GA. The cancer registry at DeKalb Medical is a CoC- and NAPBC-accredited registry. Ms. Richardson has been an active member of NCRA for more than 17 years, having served in a variety of leadership positions including treasurer, junior treasurer, and as an advocacy and technical practice director. Ms. Richardson has also been active at the state level, serving as both the secretary and education chair for the Georgia Tumor Registrars Association. Ms. Richardson holds a BS in health science with an emphasis on health information management from Weber State University in Ogden, UT.

Ms. Richardson will focus her year as president on promoting issues of importance to her and the cancer registry profession. She will concentrate her efforts on pursuing a classification code with the Department of Labor for Medical Registries and finding new ways to promote the use of cancer registry data.

Subscription Offer for Center for Cancer Registry Education

NCRA is marking its 40th anniversary this year by offering a special $100 subscription to its Center for Cancer Registry Education (CCRE). The CCRE is an online learning management system with more than 40 educational products designed specifically for cancer registrars. The products support individuals who are new to the cancer registry field as well as seasoned professionals seeking continuing education to expand their knowledge. The subscription will allow NCRA members to access a variety of training products and earn up to 40 CEs for $100. The subscription must be purchased by June 30, but members have access to the subscription products through December 31. To learn more, go to

American Cancer Society News

New Guidelines Address Long-Term Needs of Prostate Cancer Survivors

New American Cancer Society Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care guidelines outline post-treatment clinical care for the estimated 2.8 million prostate cancer survivors in the United States. Designed to promote the optimal health and quality of life for prostate cancer survivors, the guidelines address health promotion, surveillance for recurrence and screening for second primary cancers, assessment and management of physical and psychosocial long-term and late effects, and care coordination among the oncology team, primary care clinicians, and non-oncology specialists.

The American Cancer Society Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care guidelines are based on recommendations set forth by an expert panel convened as part of the work of the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center, a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and The George Washington University Cancer Institute, which is funded by a five-year cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The guidelines report, published in the Society’s journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians is available for download at:

A Patient Page with information for patients is also available at

Monthly Spotlight

American College of Oncology Administrators

The CoC regularly collaborates with more than 50 member organizations in its mission to provide quality cancer care. This month we focus on the American College of Oncology Administrator’s (ACOA).

The American College of Oncology Administrator’s (ACOA) key initiatives this year include providing educational programs for members, strengthening ACOA through recruitment of new members, and expanding tools and resources for members in addition to expanding partnerships with organizations that have an oncology focus. The ACOA publishes a bi-monthly e-newsletter that covers oncology news and aims to provide up-to-date information and resources for oncology administrators in all types of facilities.

The American Academy of Medical Administrators (AAMA) 2014 National Summit was held this past February. Multiple sessions connecting health care administrators across the country provided the most up-to-date, new, and emerging information in the fields of health care with a special focus for oncology, cardiology, and neurology administrators. Plans are underway for ACOA to host a lunchtime webinar on July 24 titled “CQIP and the New CoC Quality Initiatives,” presented by Christopher Pezzi, MD, FACS, Immediate Past–Chair of the CoC Quality Integration Committee. This version will offer an opportunity for oncology service line administrators to learn about quality tools and resources that the CoC has available with a focus on CQIP and expanding quality metrics. The 2015 AAMA National Summit, January 19–21, in Clearwater, FL, will feature a theme of “The Tides of Change.”

ACOA was founded in 1992 as a national college of the AAMA. Our mission is to promote the advancement of oncology administration and to foster the professional well-being, needs, and development of members within the specialty of oncology administration. The college, one of several AAMA specialty colleges, is composed of professionals dedicated to providing excellent care to their oncology patients. ACOA’s main focus is to provide tools and resources for oncology administrators and managers in all types of health care facilities.

For more information on this organization, please contact:
American College of Oncology Administrators (ACOA), 330 N. Wabash Ave. Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60611
E-mail: | Website:
Phone: 312-321-6815

Monthly Spotlight

American College of Radiology

The CoC regularly collaborates with more than 50 member organizations in its mission to provide quality cancer care. This month we focus on the American College of Radiology (ACR).

The mission of the ACR is to improve the health of patients and society. Our goal is to maximize the value of radiology and radiologists by advancing the science of radiology, improving radiological service to the patient, studying the socioeconomic aspects of the practice of radiology, and encouraging improved and continuing education for radiologists and allied professional fields.

First published in 1993, the fifth edition of the BI-RADS® Atlas was completed in 2013 and made available in early 2014. This important document is used by breast imagers around the world in guiding patient care and in structuring breast cancer research. It provides standardized breast imaging findings terminology, report organization, assessment structure, and a classification system for mammography, ultrasound, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the breast. The report organization enables radiologists to provide a succinct review of mammography, ultrasound, and MRI findings and to communicate the results to the referring physician in a clear and consistent fashion with a final assessment and a specific course of action.

This edition of BI-RADS® is the culmination of years of collaborative efforts between the subsection heads and their committees and the ACR, and, importantly, input from users of these lexicons. It is designed for everyday practice and makes it possible to issue unambiguous breast imaging reports and meaningfully evaluate radiologist performance.

Through a medical audit and outcome monitoring, the system provides important mechanisms for peer review and quality assurance data that will improve the quality of breast imaging worldwide. Results compiled in a standardized manner permit the maintenance and collection analysis of demographic and outcome data. The 2013 BI-RADS® includes:

  • More than 700 clinical images
  • A new follow-up and outcome monitoring chapter that includes mammography, ultrasound, and MRI
  • Updated breast composition descriptors
  • Frequently asked questions for each section
  • New elasticity assessment descriptors for ultrasound
  • New breast implant descriptors for MRI

Now more than ever, BI-RADS® is intended to be a dynamic and evolving document that will adapt to changes in the practice of breast imaging and serve a practical role for radiologists. In addition to the traditional bound format, the fifth edition will take advantage of advances in electronic publishing to offer its material in an e-book, available online, for greater portability and expanded features. In this format, BI-RADS® will be able to address changes in practice and advances in technology efficiently and regularly.

For more information on this organization, please contact:
American College of Radiology, 1891 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 20191
E-mail: | Website:
Phone: 703-648-8900