ASCO Past President Highlights QOPI® Efforts to Improve Care in Michigan

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ASCO in Action

ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) can be used to assess the quality of care in a statewide consortium of oncology practices and ultimately can lead to better care for patients with cancer, said ASCO Past President Douglas W. Blayney, MD, at a recent briefing on cancer care value in Washington, DC.

Dr. Blayney discussed the results of his recent study published by Health Affairs, “Michigan Oncology Practices Showed Varying Adherence Rates to Practice Guidelines, But Quality Interventions Improved Care,” at a briefing hosted by the journal.

“We focused on how oncology practices in Michigan adhered to the measurements of QOPI. Process adherence indicates optimum survival of the patient,” said Dr. Blayney, the former Medical Director at the University of Michigan Cancer Center and the current Ann and John Doerr Medical Director of the Stanford University Cancer Institute. 

Increased Participation

The acceptance and support of QOPI by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) has led to increased participation in the consortium, Dr. Blayney said. Before BCBSM agreed to reimburse the costs of data collection in 2007, only three medical practice groups in Michigan participated in QOPI. Afterward, 36 practices, ranging from large institutions to smaller practices, participated. Of those 36 practices, 20 participated in two or more data-collection rounds and were the focus of the study.

The study identified high concordance with treatment-related quality metrics among the outpatient oncology practices. For breast and colorectal cancer care, there was a more than 85% rate of adherence to the quality care processes. However, there was higher variation in scores among participants and lower overall concordance within other domains of care. For end-of-life care, the adherence rate was 73%, and for symptom and toxicity management, adherence was 56%.

“This observation of these snapshots of care has led us to ask if we can do better in end-of-life care, and we are working on targeted interventions to do so,” said Dr. Blayney.

The paper noted that is it still too early to determine the effect of these targeted interventions and the overall impact of the consortium, but it appears positive from early indications. ■

© 2012. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.