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

September 2016 CoC Source

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CoC News

CoC Announces Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) Recipients

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) has announced the first half of the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) winners to 20 exceptional CoC-accredited cancer programs that were surveyed January 1–June 30, 2016.

The OAA designation is presented to CoC-accredited cancer programs that receive a commendation rating for each of the standards as well as compliance ratings with all of the remaining standards.

“More and more, we’re finding that patients and their families want to know how the health care institutions in their communities compare with one another,” said Daniel P. McKellar, MD, FACS, Chair of the CoC. “Patients and their families want access to information in terms of who is providing the best quality of care, and they want to know about overall patient outcomes. Through this recognition program, I’d like to think we’re playing a small, but vital, role in helping them make informed decisions on their cancer care.”

The CoC acknowledges these programs for their efforts to provide high-quality cancer care and demonstrate accountability and a strong commitment to CoC accreditation. Visit the CoC website for more information about OAA winners.

Free Breast Cancer Awareness Month Poster

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the CoC encourage you to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month and use it as an opportunity to display and publicize your program's accreditation status with the CoC and NAPBC.

The NAPBC and the CoC have created a poster to use within your program and community.

How to Access the Poster

  • Programs that are accredited solely by the NAPBC, use the Marketing Resources website link that was provided in your performance report e-mail notification. 
  • Programs that are accredited solely by the CoC or both the CoC and NAPBC, go to CoC Datalinks and click on Marketing Resources.

Please let us know about your celebration by sending photos and event information to Susan Rubin, Business Development Manager, ACS Cancer Programs.

Advocacy Update

Colorectal Cancer Screening: Bowel Prep Is Now Free of Cost Sharing

A new "Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) document released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services" clarifies commercial plan requirements around coverage for bowel prep when prescribed for a screening colonoscopy.

Q1: If a colonoscopy is scheduled and performed as a screening procedure pursuant to the USPSTF [United States Preventive Services Task Force] recommendation, can a plan or issuer impose cost sharing for the bowel preparation medications prescribed for the procedure?

No. Consistent with a previous FAQ, the required preparation for a preventive screening colonoscopy is an integral part of the procedure. Bowel preparation medications, when medically appropriate and prescribed by a health care provider, are an integral part of the preventive screening colonoscopy, and therefore, are required to be covered in accordance with the requirements of the Public Health Services Act section 2713 and its implementing regulations (that is, without cost sharing, subject to reasonable medical management).

Resources for Cancer Liaison Physicians

We Hope to See You in Washington, DC!

Join us Monday, October 17, 2016 from 6:30-8:00 am for the Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) Breakfast at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. The breakfast will take place in Liberty Ballroom Salons I-M on Meeting Level 4.

If you have not received an e-mail for registration, please contact

Cancer Liaison Physician Reporting Template

Be sure to check our website for a new reporting template tool. CLPs are required to report data to their cancer committee each quarter. We now offer a template to help you create your report. The CLP reporting template and examples are now available on the Using NCDB Reporting Tools page in the Tools for the CLP section.

Educational Programs and Resources

Just Five Days Left to Register for the Next Accreditation 101 Workshop

Registration for the fall 2016 CoC workshop, Accreditation 101: Learning the Basics of CoC Accreditation and Standards closes on Monday, September 5. This one-day workshop, held in Chicago, IL on September 9, 2016, is designed for new audiences interested in learning more about CoC accreditation through a basic overview of the CoC Standards. If you are on staff of a cancer program seeking more information on CoC accreditation, or a new staff member of a CoC-accredited cancer program not yet accredited by the CoC, then this course is for you.

For more information and to register, visit the Accreditation 101 website.

News from ACoS Cancer Programs


Attend AJCC Disease Site Webinars Based on AJCC 7th Edition

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) announces five disease site webinars that are scheduled for summer and early fall this year. The webinars, provided at no cost, will highlight the five most common site chapters for AJCC 7th edition staging and include: Melanoma, Lung, Breast, Colorectum, and Prostate. There will be pre- and post-education quizzes that serve as a self-assessment for the information learned. The webinars will provide information on the unique qualities, differences, exceptions, or special concerns for the disease sites.

Each lecture will contain the following topics:

  • Overview and Learning Objectives
  • Anatomy Affecting Stage
  • Classification Issues
  • Assigning T, N, M Stage Group
  • Information and Questions on AJCC Staging and Summary

Webinar recordings for Melanoma, Lung, and Breast are available now on the AJCC website. Colorectum and Prostate are open for the live registration. Register now. All webinars will be recorded for the use of individuals who are not able to attend the live session.

You can visit the AJCC website to learn more about the Disease Site webinars.

AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition, to be discussed at Clinical Congress 

If you are attending the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2016, don't miss the ACS Theatre Session on the new AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition. The New AJCC TNM Staging System: Vision, What's New, and Preparing for Implementation will be presented by Editor-in-Chief Mahul Amin, MD, FCAP, who will provide an overview of the staging changes that go into effect January 1, 2017. His presentation will cover the new staging systems, unique paradigms for existing systems, updated General Staging rules, prognostic factors, and AJCC-endorsed risk-assessment models. The presentation will be on Tuesday, October 18, 11:15–11:40 am at the Theatre in the Exhibit Hall. The AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, Eighth Edition, is scheduled for release at the end of October 2016.


NAPBC Accreditation Workshop Set for November 12 in Chicago, IL

Plan now to join us on November 12 at the American College of Surgeons headquarters in Chicago, IL, for the Pursuing Excellence through NAPBC Accreditation workshop. Gain the knowledge from this program that will help you develop and operate a high-quality breast center, and achieve and maintain National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) Accreditation.

This workshop is designed for members of the multidisciplinary breast health care team (for example, physicians, nurses, administrators, and cancer registrars) who are newly employed at an NAPBC-accredited program or working at a non-accredited breast center considering NAPBC accreditation.

By attending this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the current NAPBC standards, the accreditation process, and the value of accreditation in terms of quality care, patient satisfaction, staff support, and clinical outcomes.
  • Identify the roles and disciplines that need to be included in the accreditation process and discuss the need for their support.
  • Apply the required breast center components, accreditation standards, and compliance strategies to successfully achieve NAPBC accreditation.
  • Maximize your on-site NAPBC survey visit.
  • Optimize resources to maintain NAPBC accreditation.

Visit the NAPBC Workshop webpage for meeting details, agenda, and to book your hotel room.

Registration for this event will open soon, so watch your inbox, Twitter and the NAPBC website for more details!