The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACOS-CoC) is a consortium of professional organizations focused on reducing the morbidity and mortality of patients with cancer and to improve the quality of cancer care. AAMA/ACOA member Jeannie O’Leary serves as liaison to ACOS-CoC. 

As a member of the American College of Oncology Administrators (ACOA), I am the newly appointed liaison to the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACOS-CoC). My background has prepared me for this appointment. Currently I am the Director for Oncology Services at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois. My experience is both clinical and administrative in radiation oncology, medical oncology, inpatient and outpatient cancer care, genetic risk assessment and pain management. I have been in oncology administration for over 10 years.

My term of membership as ACOS-CoC representative is a 3-year position with the ability to vote and serve as a chair or vice-chair of one of their committees. The strategic goal in having liaisons representing other organizations is to enhance the relationships and collaborations by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, initiatives, critical issues, and actions that impact cancer care, data collection, and research. As liaison, I have the opportunity to bring matters of importance for ACOA to the CoC as well as communicate CoC activities to the ACOA.

The American College of Surgeons held their annual meeting in October of 2002 and the Commission on Cancer has a number of items they are working on in 2003. The following highlights their focus for 2003.

·          They will be preparing for HIPAA compliance by 1) pursuing the defined role of “business associate”, 2) surveyors will be signing a confidentiality and conflict of interest statement and 3) the CoC will submit any of their studies to an IRB or privacy board before implementing.

·          April 2003 the new standards manual will be available and will be implemented July 1, 2003 for upcoming surveys.

·          The Cancer Program Survey application will be linked to the web and available to be completed electronically by July 1, 2003.

·          JCAHO is going to develop a mechanism to publicly identify JCAHO accredited organizations that also have departments or programs accredited by a “complementary” accrediting organization. As consumers access Quality Check component of JCAHO web site, there will be a linkage to Complementary accreditation programs. This will allow users to have easy access to additional performance information. Targeted for 2004.

·          Facilities will be required to use NCDB Benchmark Reports to identify quality problems within the hospital and then develop plans for addressing these problems and implement their plans.

·          12 Disease Site Teams will develop Patient Care Evaluations, which is a new committee as a result of restructuring of their programs. These teams will review and publish NCDB data, propose hypothesis-based special studies, identify opportunities for educational interventions to improve cancer care and propose quality indicators for incorporating into CoC approvals standards. Facilities will be required to participate in 2 PCE studies as directed by CoC.

·          They launched the Facility Information Profile System (FIBS), which is a volume data sharing opportunity with ACS. If you as an approved CoC program share your data with ACS, you can market your cancer program services to the public on ACS’s website and their 1-800 call center. Free marketing. Their goal is to have 100% of their accredited sites participate by January 2003. 70% currently are sharing their data with ACS.

I want to be a resource for you as you navigate through the accrediting process and attempt to interpret ACOS’ standards.

If you have input on particular issues regarding credentialing and ACOS standards, please contact Jeannie O’Leary through the American College of Oncology Administrators/ American Academy of Medical Administrators at 701 Lee Street, Suite 600, Des Plaines, IL 60016, 847-759-8601-Phone, 847-759-8602-FAX, email [email protected], or at the website: www.aameda.org. For more information on the ACOS-COC, visit their website: www.facs.org/dept/cancer

ACOS-CoC Information You Need Now! The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries has published it’s “2003 Implementation Guidelines and Recommendations”, which is a document intended to assist cancer registries and to help ease the transition from ROADS to FORDS (NAACR Version 9.1 to Version 10 standards).  The goal of the “Guidelines and Recommendations” is to ensure that data transmission standards are consistently maintained among all facility and central registries and that these standards are implemented in a timely manner.  The complete 92 page document is available on the American College of Surgeons Web site at:  http://www.facs.org/dept/cancer/coc/standards.html and on the NAACCR Web site at:  http://www.NAACCR.org.  For specific inquiries about FORDS data items and conversions, comments and questions can be referred to Andrew Stewart at [email protected]