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Sep 12, 2019

Welcome to the ASCO Daily News podcast. I'm Lauren Davis, and joining me today is Dr. Linda Bosserman, assistant clinical professor at City of Hope in Southern California where she is a breast cancer specialist who does research and projects in value-based care for the organization. Dr. Bosserman is also editor in chief of the Journal of Oncology Practice who served as chair for the third annual Oncology Practice Conference that just concluded last week. Dr. Bosserman, welcome to the podcast.

Thank you so much for having me.

We're glad you're here. So you've just returned from the conference. How was this year's event compared with previous years?

Well, the feedback was that this was the most successful oncology practice meeting that we've had. I have to really give credit to my planning committee including the co-chair of Barry Rousseau and the imminent Robin Zahn, who is the chair of last year's conference, and all three of us have been on the planning committee with many really amazing national specialists to put this together.

The focus this year was really on issues of administration and practice that would help people within community practice or academics in improving quality and care delivery.

What were some of the key themes and presentations of this year's conference?

So we divided the conference into five major topics. The first was practical solutions for something we all deal with every day-- physician compensation and succession planning. There were incredible talks led by Barry Rousseau and Tracy Weisberg, but with Lance [INAUDIBLE] from Stratify Health Consultants, Dean Gest, Mia Long, experienced oncologists with Texas Oncology from Minnesota Oncology with a lot of succession planning wisdom and Brad Sommer from West Clinic who really talked about very different models of hospital-based and private-based compensation and succession planning. That was very successful and helpful the people.

The second major topic was implementing a medically integrated pharmacy. So that was led by Steve Giamatto and Paul Fossberg from Minnesota Oncology and from New England Cancer Specialists and really had specials from Ray Bailey from Florida Cancer Specialists, Stacy McCullough Pharm D from Tennessee Oncology and Ira Ciccone from New York Chemo ONC Albany Med Center.
I had to laugh because our private practice in 2008 put this in and really helped spur some of the work that went on later at US oncology when we join them and now at City of Hope, a very large multi-specialty, multi-site academic network. And, in fact, this topic was so important there were subsequent key presentations at the oncology quality meeting, which followed the next two days after the business conference so highly recommend those talks.
The third talk was really uncharted waters, how to leverage your practice data, led again by Dr. Zahn and Harvey Bickoff and included Kathleen Beekham from IHA, hematology oncology, talked about practice net and the benchmarking data, Kimberly Woofter, who is really from [INAUDIBLE] and Christian [INAUDIBLE] who is with UnitedHealthcare and a former ASCO administrator.

Another key topic on how to use data both for your internal processes, improving care delivery, and quality as well as to negotiate high-quality care with payers and employers. Our fourth topic was really about value-based contracting, which is the theme of all of our current lives, really led by again Barry Rosseau and Robert Baird of Dayton Physicians and, of course, Barry from Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Steve Grubbs from ASCO talked about the PCOP model and fundamental components of contracting. Julie Royalty from Humana spoke, and Terrell Jordan from regional Cancer Care Associates in New Jersey spoke. Lot of wisdom in how we're all navigating this value-based contracting transition as we move from volume-base to value-based contracting and care delivery.

And then this is really tied together in our keynote presentation from Laura Simon and Olivia Ross, both from the Pacific Business Group on Health who really talked about the employer review and that the majority of private care is covered by employers. They're seeing 10% to 12% of their costs for 1% to 2% of their employees depending on the age of the population.

They want rapid access to very precise personalized cancer care, the state of the art, but they want it cost effectively and they want integration between the centers that do specialty surgery and transplant and [INAUDIBLE] with local physicians that can provide that hands on local care to the patient and their family in the community. So those topics really tied together as the key issues that are affecting practices today regardless of the setting that you're in.

That's interesting. A lot of fascinating topics that really do affect everyone within a practice. So I'm curious, what are some of the challenges of practices are facing. If practices are moving more towards a value-based system, how do you see that working going forward?

Everything was about the move to value whether it's compensation, succession, data, how we contract, implementing programs including [INAUDIBLE] integrated pharmacy, and how we work with employers. So that really is a challenge for small practices because we're talking about an extensive set of data and administrative oversight and reporting as well as a comprehensive set of care delivery.

So for small practices, it means networking with larger groups, networking with academic centers, or national groups that are reaching out on behalf of employers to help them have the tools they need or telemedicine those services to their practice or send patients very selectively to major centers and then return to small practices. And then, of course, we're seeing the large move across the country with academic centers networking with large groups of local providers so that there can be one standard of care and meet this need as well as other groups such as US oncology providing network services across the country.

So these themes really were reflected here in the moved to value, and we saw several of these subsequently in the oncology quality symposia where they presented research and panels on these same themes. So there were a lot of great presentations there that really were the foundation, and the issues were raised at the business conference, which I highly recommend.

That's great. It sounds like these themes really tie together.
They do because they're really front and center for how we're practicing medicine, how we're providing services, what kind of services we're providing both in the practices in different settings, or networking those services, and overall ensuring that every patient has access to personalized precision oncology care, supportive care, end of life care, preventive care through the oncology experts who all show up every day to make this available to their patients.

And I think what's exciting is that if you attended the conference, you can have access to the live videos and the slides at And if you didn't attend, you can go on the ASCO website and purchase the videos and the slides, which I highly recommend because they were so focused on the real problems that people are facing administratively and in clinician leadership in whatever practice setting you are practicing in.

That's very true. Again today my guest has been Dr. Linda Bosserman. Thanks so much for being on our podcast today.
Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

And to our listeners, thank you for tuning into the ASCO Daily News podcast. You can find all of ASCO's podcasts on If you're enjoying the content, we encourage you to subscribe, rate, and review us on Apple Podcasts.