Defining Value in Cancer Care: AVBCC 2012 Steering Committee Report

September 2012, Vol 3, No 6 - AVBCC Annual Conference

AVBCC 2012 Steering Committee


Gene Beed, MD
President and CEO
Horses, Zebras, and Unicorns
Irvine, CA

Gary M. Owens, MD
Gary Owens Associates
Glen Mills, PA
Steering Committee Members  
Al B. Benson, III, MD, FACP
Professor of Medicine
Associate Director for Clinical Investigations
Robert H. Lurie
Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern Univ.
Ira M. Klein, MD,

Chief of Staff to the
Chief Medical Officer
Aetna Oncology Strategy
Hartford, CT
Samuel M. Silver, MD, PhD, FACP
Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Director, Facult Group Practice, University of
Michigan Medical School, MI
Roy A. Beveridge, MD
Chief Medical Officer
McKesson Specialty
Health/The US Oncology
The Woodlands, TX
Jennifer Malin, MD, PhD
Manager and Medical
Director of Oncology WellPoint
Los Angeles, CA
John D. Sprandio, MD, FACP
Chief Physician
Consultants in Medical
Oncology and Hematology
Drexel, PA
Craig K. Deligdish, MD
Oncology Resource
Orlando, FL
Matthew Mitchell,
PharmD, MBA

Pharmacy Services
Salt Lake City, UT
F. Randy Vogenberg, RPh, PhD
Principal, Institute for
Integrated Healthcare
Co-Founder, Bentelligence
Sharon, MA
John Fox, MD, MHA
Associate Vice President
for Medical Affairs
Priority Health
Grand Rapids, MI
Lee N. Newcomer, MD
Senior Vice President of Oncology Services
Minneapolis, MN

Approximately 200 oncologists, payers, em­ployers, managed care executives, pharma­cy benefit managers, and other healthcare stakeholders convened in Hous­ton, TX, on March 28-31, 2012, for the Second Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC).

The mission of the conference was to align the various perspectives around the growing need of defining value in cancer care and developing strategies to enhance patient outcomes. The AVBCC conference presented a forum for the various viewpoints from all the stakeholders across the cancer care continuum, featuring more than 20 sessions and symposia led by nearly 30 oncology leaders. The discussions focused on current trends and challenges in optimizing value in oncology by reducing or controlling cost while improving care quality and patient outcomes, introducing emerging approaches to management and tools that providers and payers are using to enhance cancer care collaboratively.

The AVBCC Second Annual Conference was opened by a Steer ing Committee discussion of 11 panel members who attempted to define value in cancer care and articulated action steps that can help to implement value into cancer care delivery. The following summary represents highlights from the Steering Committee discussion, which was moderated by Gene Beed, MD, and Gary M. Owens, MD.

Gary M. Owens, MD: The 2 target concepts we need to consider during this Steering Committee discussion are “value” and “action.” Our goal is to define what is value in cancer care, and how is that value different for a payer, a clinician, and, of course, the patient. But we also must include other stakeholders, such as employers and the government, who pay for the care. In addition, we want to develop concepts and ideas that are actionable, ones that we can ultimately transfer into true action steps.

One thing that complicates the approach to cancer is that it is not a single disease but a collection of very different diseases. Heterogeneity is the hallmark of cancer. At the same time, there are similarities in the issues that concern patients with cancer, related to costs and outcomes. Currently, the most robust area in the drug pipeline is oncology. There are almost twice as many specialty oncology agents in the pipeline as there are other specialty agents for all of the other diseases combined. So we are on this cusp of innovation. We are seeing innovation in cancer diagnostics, which parallels the types of therapies being developed, and we are now able to do testing to tailor treatment for certain genetic mutations and expression of genes.

We need to mold that innovation into what it means for patient care, what it means to those who pay for it, and what it means for those who provide that care. That is how we are going to open the discussion for the Second Annual AVBCC Conference.

Gene Beed, MD: We are going to discuss the changing epidemiology of cancer toward patient-ce