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AVBCC COVID-19 Webcast Series

April 3, 2020: COVID-19 Impact on the Cancer Care Delivery Ecosystem
A discussion articulating the challenges facing cancer care in the current COVID-19 crisis by some of the top thought leaders, faculty, and key opinion leaders.
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The Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC) webcast was introduced by Dr Zweigenhaft, Founder of AVBCC, who assembled an exceptional group of experts from across the country to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the healthcare industry. After a few quick welcoming remarks to allow more time for the fast-moving presentations, Dr Zweigenhaft introduced Dr Hudis, who briefly presented ASCO’s outlook on the crisis.
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Mr Slotnik opened the session with an inside look at Washington, addressing some of the changes to oncology care policies and operations from the COVID-19 pandemic. He outlined a quick overview of the initiatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), including new guidelines and the easing of some restrictions on physicians’ options for telemedicine.
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Up to 65% of cancer care is delivered via community cancer centers that are not part of a hospital or academic center. These centers are feeling the impact of COVID-19 as the pandemic reshapes the way these facilities provide care to patients.
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According to the NCCN, an alliance of 30 leading academic cancer centers in the United States, the data suggest that although patients with cancer are not more susceptible to infection from the new coronavirus than other people, they do have much worse outcomes. “Prevention is thus the key for oncology patients,” Dr Carlson said.
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Turning from the provision of care to the provision of therapies and essential personal protective equipment (PPE), Mr Pourmahram and Dr Fortner focused on the wholesale supply chain and the challenges of ensuring an uninterrupted flow of crucial materials to areas with the greatest demand.
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Dr Peskin, Dr Breidbart, and Mr Eyles gave an overview of the changes the novel coronavirus has prompted for managed care payers. They agreed that the unprecedented set of circumstances surrounding the pandemic has led to an opening of the floodgates to questions without immediate answers, leaving providers and payers in unfamiliar territory in a rapidly changing environment with few guideposts.
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The healthcare supply channel is dependent on drug manufacturers and their innovation and production. Representing 3 of the major biopharmaceutical companies, Dr Gerberding, Mr Morrissey, and Mr Dozier discussed the drug manufacturers’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, announcing a recent collaboration in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
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Oncology nurses and nurse navigators are positioned on the front lines of cancer care, playing an integral role in patients’ battles against cancer. Ms Shockney and Ms Nevidjon discussed the rapidly changing world that oncology nurses are facing because of COVID-19.
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Patient advocacy organizations regularly field and fulfill requests for assistance from patients with a serious illness, such as cancer. In the face of COVID-19, such requests have increased exponentially. Ms Goldsmith and Mr Klein outlined their organizations’ efforts to meet patients’ needs.
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