The CoC Source - September 3, 2013
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ACS and CoC Support Choosing Wisely Campaign to Identify Overused Procedures

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Commission on Cancer (CoC) have  joined more than 30 leading medical specialty societies in phase III of the Choosing Wisely® campaign initiated by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation. The campaign is a response to a 2012 report from the Institute of Medicine, Best Care at Lower Cost, which noted that up to 30 percent of health care spending is duplicative or unnecessary. To date, the campaign has brought together more than 80 organizations, including medical societies, regional health collaboratives, and consumer partners to support important physician-patient conversations about using the most appropriate tests and treatments and avoiding care if its harm outweighs the benefits. To spark these conversations, leading specialty societies have created lists of evidence-based recommendations that should be discussed to help physicians and patients make wise decisions about the most appropriate care based on a patient’s individual situation.

Choosing Wisely currently has put forth a list of more than 130 potentially unnecessary medical tests and will add to that number in late 2013 and early 2014 with the lists submitted by phase III participating groups. The ACS and the CoC have recently developed evidence-based lists of five tests and/or procedures that may be overused in their specific fields. The ACS and CoC lists will be released concurrently on the ACS and Choosing Wisely websites on September 4. For more information, visit the Choosing Wisely website.

Complete the Readiness Assessment Survey Before September 6

The LIVESTRONG Foundation, the Cancer Support Community, the American Cancer Society, and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship joined together with the CoC to create and distribute a Continuum of Care Standards Readiness Assessment. The Readiness Assessment will determine how ready programs are to implement the Continuum of Care standards due for 2015 phase-in.  These are the standards that address patient-centered care including patient navigation, psychosocial distress screening, and survivorship care plans. The survey link was distributed on Thursday, August 8 to cancer committee chairs, hospital registrars, and psychosocial service representatives. If you did not receive the survey link, please send a request to with Readiness Survey in the subject line and we will resend the link. Using the results of the survey, the group will evaluate the need to develop additional reference materials to aid in the implementation of these standards, be able to highlight the currently available tools and resources, and use the results to inform the broader scientific community. Please complete one survey per CoC-accredited program. The survey will remain open until September 6.

Learn about the Value of NAPBC at the Breast Cancer Symposium

If you are attending the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco, CA on September 7- 9, make sure to visit the NAPBC's booth on Saturday or Sunday.  Take this opportunity to meet Cindy Burgin, Manager of the NAPBC, to learn about NAPBC accreditation standards and the survey process. Discover the reasons why your breast center needs to earn this important designation. Show your community, your patients, and your staff your breast center’s commitment to providing quality care for the breast cancer patient.  If you are not able to attend the meeting and want to learn more about the NAPBC program, please visit the NAPBC website

CoC Recognizes Accredited Programs

CoC-accredited cancer programs provide their communities with high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered care. These programs evolve in response to new diagnostic and treatment modalities, quality assurance and improvement initiatives, and the needs of cancer patients and their families. Currently, there are nearly 1,500 CoC-accredited programs throughout the U.S.

This month, the CoC recognizes the following programs that have maintained their accreditation for 50 to 55 consecutive years (beginning in 1958–1963). Congratulations to the following programs for reaching this milestone and for their commitment to providing quality cancer care.

Saint Francis Medical Center, Cape Girardeau, MO (1958)
William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, TX (1958)
Wheaton Franciscan, St. Joseph, Milwaukee, WI (1958)
Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, Brockton, MA (1958)
Wheaton Franciscan, Inc., Milwaukee, WI (1958)
Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, MI (1958)
The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY (1958)
Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, East Norriton, PA (1958)
Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gainesville, GA (1958)
Wright Patterson Medical Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH (1959)
Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA (1959)
Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI (1959)
VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn, NY (1959)
St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Brighton, MA (1959)
Cheshire Medical Center, Keene, NH (1959)
Self Regional Healthcare, Greenwood, SC (1959)
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, IL (1959)
Kosair-Children's Hospital, Louisville, KY (1959)
Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, AR (1959)
G.V. Montgomery VA Medical Center, Jackson, MS (1960)
Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL (1960)
Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, ME (1960)
Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, NY (1960)
Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, PA (1961)
Saint Mary's Health Care, Grand Rapids, MI (1961)
Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI (1961)
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane, WA (1961)
Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX (1962)
North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley, CO (1962)
Warren Hospital, Phillipsburg, NJ (1962)
Hackensack UMC Mountainside, Montclair, NJ (1962)
William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, SC (1962)
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center, Clackamas, OR (1963)
Northside Medical Center, Youngstown, OH (1963)
Providence Medford Medical Center, Medford, OR (1963)
Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, Medford, OR (1963)
Salem VA Medical Center, Salem, VA (1963)
West Virginia University Hospitals, Morgantown, WV (1963)

Attend the CoC Legislative Briefing at Clinical Congress

The Member Organization Steering Committee and Advocacy Subcommittee announce the first CoC Cancer Legislative Briefing.  This briefing will serve to inform legislators of the work of the CoC and its role in improving quality of patient-centered cancer care in accredited programs.  The briefing will be held during The American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in Washington, DC on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at the Rayburn House Office Building at 3:00 pm with a reception to follow.  We invite anyone attending Clinical Congress to participate and encourage you to forward this notice to the legislators in your state.  Please RSVP to

Reminder: 2013 Annual Update Period Closes Soon

The Annual Update Period closes on September 30. This update is required for all CoC-accredited cancer programs that will be surveyed in 2014 and 2015.
(Note: the Eligibility Requirements [ER] section will not close on September 30.)

  • Review ALL ER screens that describe your program’s cancer-related resources and services and upload required documentation that may have been revised since the prior year (for example, policies, procedures) that describe how these services are provided. If a document has not been revised since your 2012 review, you do not need to upload a new document. If you do upload a revised version of a document that matches your current practice or process, you can delete the older version of the same document.
  • As appropriate to each screen, enter the 2013 date that the revised documentation was discussed at a cancer committee meeting. If a new date cannot be added, override the 2012 date.
  • There will be no additional SAR standard screens to be completed during this period.
The resource and service information completed as part of the ER will be used to update your facility’s profile in the CoC Hospital Locator.

If you require further assistance or have questions, please contact  Please include “Annual Update” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Attend the CLP Breakfast Meeting during Clinical Congress

Annually, during the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, the CoC's Cancer Liaison Program sponsors a Cancer Liaison Physician Breakfast.  This year’s meeting will be held Monday, October 7 from 6:30–8:00 am. Registration will end September 20.  Please register for this meeting before September 20. Be sure to print out the confirmation page—this page summarizes the meeting and includes important information on how to book your housing and travel.

Check out the full CLP meeting schedule.

Becoming a CLP Orientation Video

The CoC’s Cancer Liaison Program announces a new orientation video for Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLPs). This video features an overview of the CLP Information Board on the CoC website.  The board serves as the primary source for information to help CLPs perform their role at their facility and ultimately improve the quality of care provided to their patients. Visit the CLP Information Board to download the video.

Two New CoC Webinars Available

Learn about CoC accreditation and standards in the latest CoC webinars that are available on the Cancer Programs Online Education Portal.

Scott M. Weissman, MS, certified genetic counselor, representing the National Society of Genetic Counselors—a CoC member organization—presents a prerecorded webinar on: Maximizing Standard 2.3 – Cancers that Warrant a Genetic Consultation
This webinar provides information on common and rare cancers with a strong hereditary contribution, a review of data and national guidelines for genetics consultation and discusses ways to identify patients who would benefit from a genetics consultation.

M. Asa Carter, CTR, Manager, CoC Accreditation and Standards, presents a new pre-recorded webinar on:
Important Accreditation Facts: Cancer Program Standards 2012
This webinar provides important information on the patient-centered Standards,  including the rationale for the change, expected improvements in classification and comparison, and a description of how the programs will be affected.

These webinars are complimentary to CoC-accredited cancer program staff accessing them through their Datalinks user ID and cost $50 for all other participants.  Find more information on using your Datalinks user ID on the Education Portals FAQs page.

Be sure to bookmark the new American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs Online Education Portal where you will find all of your CoC educational webinars and more.


Attend CoC-Sponsored Educational Sessions at Clinical Congress

Update your knowledge on current cancer management and attend one of the CoC-sponsored educational sessions held during the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, October 6-10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC:

Monday, October 7, 9:45–11:15 am
PS105 – Management of Hereditary Colon Cancer Syndrome

Tuesday, October 8, 4:15–5:45 pm
PS233 – Incorporating Palliative Care in Cancer Management

Wednesday, October 9, 12:45–1:45 pm
NL11 – Commission on Cancer Oncology Lecture: Reengineering of Care: Surgical Leadership

Wednesday, October 9, 2:30–4:00 pm
PS323 – Neoadjuvant Therapy: Finding the New Normal in Cancer Treatment    

Visit the CoC booth at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to learn more about CoC Accreditation.

Save the Date for Survey Savvy 2014

The Survey Savvy workshop will take place June 19–20, 2014, in Chicago, IL. The Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) preconference half-day workshop will be held June 18. If you plan to attend the workshop, mark your calendar today.


Important Announcement about CS Data Collection

After careful consideration the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Commission on Cancer (CoC), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have determined that it is not feasible to continue support of Collaborative Staging beyond diagnosis year 2015. Beginning with cases diagnosed in 2016 support of Collaborative Stage will cease and CDC, CoC and NCI will transition to direct coding of the AJCC TNM staging. We believe that direct coding of AJCC along with the careful collection of clinically significant biomarkers and prognostic factors will provide our programs with a more precise and stable method for the collection of staging data that is positioned to keep pace with future medical advances. The Canadian Council of Cancer Registries (CCCR) is aware of the forthcoming changes and has started a process to determine how staging will continue in Canada.

2014 and 2015 will be a transition period for all of us. During this transition the Collaborative Stage v2.05 Data Collection System will be used. At the same time the AJCC, CDC, CoC, NCI and CCCR will devote resources and support for training and other activities to ensure the continued collection of high quality data. Training will focus on procedures for directly coding clinical and pathological AJCC T, N, and M and stage group, as well as identifying optimal methods to capture biomarkers and prognostic factors. Although planning for this transition is just beginning we will be depending on the surveillance community, in coordination with NAACCR and NCRA, for expertise and insights into effective  training development and delivery; and the needed changes in reporting standards and software as we move forward. Together we will build new processes which will ensure the continued collection of high quality data to inform research based on more meaningful clinical information and improve our ability to support best practices for patient care.



Lead Your Breast Program to Excellence Conference
Learn from those who developed the standards!

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) will host a dynamic two-day course where nationally recognized leaders will discuss critical success factors for comprehensive breast centers. 

Friday and Saturday, November 15–16

Where: The Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

What: Learn how others built their multidisciplinary breast center from the ground up using nationally recognized programs. This two-day course will include nationally recognized authorities discussing:

  • National Quality Programs: The What, Why, and How of NAPBC, the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers, and the Breast Imaging Center of Excellence
  • Developing a High Quality Breast Program
  • Critical Success Factors for Developing Certification/Accreditation-Worthy Breast Programs
  • Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness of Breast Center Programs
  • Defining Benchmarks for Breast Centers of Excellence
  • Breast Diagnostic, Treatment, and Management Quality Metrics
  • Aggressive Screening Programs, Patient Navigation, Genetic Risk Assessment and Counseling, Survivorship, and Advocacy

Who: The ideal audience for this course will be:

  • Hospital chief executive officers and chief operating officers
  • Service line administrators
  • Breast program leaders and other physicians involved with breast centers
  • Radiologists and technologists involved with breast centers
  • Nurse navigators
  • Quality managers
  • Breast imaging supervisors
  • Genetic counselors
  • Social workers
The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The American College of Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of 14.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Learn more about the Lead Your Breast Program to Excellence Conference and register today!


Now Open! Call for Abstracts for NCRA’s 2014 Annual Educational Conference
The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) is seeking sessions for its 40th Annual Educational Conference, May 15–18, 2014, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. Share your expertise with colleagues by submitting a presentation abstract for consideration using NCRA's online system. Abstracts will be reviewed by the NCRA 2014 Program Committee and selected presenters notified by October 15. The deadline for submitting abstracts is September 10. Guidelines and a link to the online submission site are located at

NCRA Releases the CD: Introduction to the Cancer Registry
The NCRA Education Foundation developed a CD, Introduction to the Cancer Registry, to help increase the number of students entering the cancer registry profession. The CD includes an Instructor's Guide, 12 presentations outlining aspects of the cancer registry profession, fact sheets, and student handouts. To obtain a copy of the CD, e-mail The presentations and the Instructor's Guide are also posted under the "Become a Cancer Registrar" tab at

NCRA Announces Fall Professional Development Webinar Series
NCRA has designed a three-part professional development series to assist cancer registrars in developing skills to create quality control policies and effective presentations using Excel. The series also includes a detailed webinar on the immune system. All webinars are at 2:00 pm (ET), and each webinar is worth one continuing education credit. Learn more and register at

Quality in the Registry
Dianne M. Cleveland, RHIA, CTR
September 25

The quality of cancer registry data is critical in developing effective cancer treatment and prevention programs. Participants will learn the components of a quality-control policy and how to develop its objectives. Ms. Cleveland will demonstrate how to write an effective quality control policy and plan for new standards.

Cancer and the Immune System
Michele Webb, CTR
October 23

The immune system is a collection of cells and organs that protect the body from illness and disease; it is not an easy subject to study. Ms. Webb will discuss the role and purpose of the immune system, describe the role of the various cells in the development of cancer, and examine the importance of this knowledge for the cancer registrar.

Delivering Your Data with Excel
Stephanie Hill, MPH, CTR
November 13

Cancer registries collect cancer information that is used in a variety of ways, including producing statistics on cancer incidence and survival rates, improving patient care, and developing innovative public health initiatives. In this session, registrars will learn the myriad of ways to use Microsoft Excel for presenting data to doctors, cancer committees, and researchers in ways beyond the basics. Specific tools to be covered include: pivot tables, advanced filters, and formulas. (A working knowledge of Excel spreadsheets is recommended.)

Executive Training on Navigation and Survivorship: Finding Your Patient Focus

September 26-27, 2013
St. Gregory Hotel & Suites | Washington, DC

The George Washington University Cancer Institute will host an interactive two-day training that equips health care professionals with the tools needed to launch and sustain navigation and survivorship programs, two cornerstones of patient-centered care. Participants learn strategic planning techniques for developing, implementing, evaluating and sustaining patient navigation and survivorship programs.  At the conclusion of the training, participants walk away with a cohesive institution-specific plan for either a survivorship or navigation program.

Since 2009, caSNP has trained over 200 health care professionals in 34 states, Canada and the Marshall Islands through the Executive Training whose patient-centered programs developed as a result of the training have impacted thousands of patients. Past participants of the program highly recommend a team of two attend to receive the most out of the training.

Participants will have access to case studies, networking with experts and other professionals, a comprehensive Guide for Program Development and accompanying Program Development Workbook and more! Continuing education credits are available for nurses and social workers. Participants receive a certificate upon completion of the program.

Register online today to secure a spot! For questions and additional information, please contact Elisabeth Reed,, or 202-994-4088. 

NCCS Hosts Annual Rays of Hope Event

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) will host its annual NCCS Rays of Hope® event for cancer survivors, health policy experts, advocates, healthcare providers, government representatives and others. The evening will feature a panel discussion moderated by Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent of NBC News, about how cancer is covered in media and entertainment, and its inevitable influence over public perceptions of cancer and cancer care. The Emmy Award-Winning creator of The Big C, Darlene Hunt, and the CEO and founder of the Center for Advancing Health, Jessie Gruman, will be recognized for their work. This event will take place on Thursday, September 26th at the Newseum in Washington, DC. More information can be found online at Please direct media and general inquiries to