MOQC was thrilled to welcome the collaborative back for the first in-person meeting in over two years. The June Biannual meeting, held at the Lansing Center in Lansing on June 17, was well attended and the engagement was terrific. In addition to sharing MOQC measure performance, there were impactful talks on patient reported outcomes, activism in healthcare, and the important role of caregivers in oncology care.
Dr. Christopher Friese, MOQC’s Director of Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs) presented on the background of PROs including what they are, why they are important, and what MOQC has previously done related to collecting PROs. The talk referenced research looking at the impact of PROs on survival as well as discussed different domains that can be captured by PROs, including symptoms, patient satisfaction, and social needs. Following the presentation, panel participants included Tracey Cargill-Smith, Katie Sias, and Theresa Zatirka, who were given the opportunity to share their personal experiences as well as their expert opinions on PROs, their importance, and the challenges that accompany collecting PROs in oncology care. A video interview between Dr. Friese and Dr. Alexandra Chong from The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) was also shown. Dr. Chong shared that CMMI is interested in the collection of PROs and that benefits of PROs collection includes improvements in healthcare outcomes such as increased survival rates, better symptom management, and improved hospitalization rates. Following the panel, engaging conversation ensued among attendees during discussion sessions at each table.
During a segment we titled, “The Clinician as Activist,” Dr. Jerome Seid was interviewed by Dr. Jennifer Griggs and discussed his time spent in Washington DC and the process of introducing legislation. Dr. Seid shared ways that physicians and practice members can get involved in or support policy making. The two bills that he developed are S.2565 – Expanding Access to Palliative Care Act and S.2566 – Improving Access to Transfusion Care for Hospice Patients Act of 2021. Both bills were introduced by Jacky Rosen in July 2021 and are currently in review at the Committee on Finance. The bills have bipartisan support.
The day ended with an impactful discussion on the important role of the caregiver throughout a patient’s cancer journey. Dr. Laurel Northouse provided an introduction discussing evidenced-based information on how effective caregiving provides better outcomes to patients and families, the importance of good communication, and how to effectively support caregivers. Panelists Beth Fisher-Polasky, Cynthia Koch, Jenny Moeller, and Dr. David Smith discussed the relationship between patients, caregivers, and the medical team, challenges faced when working with the medical team or caregivers, resources required by both caregivers and medical teams to promote a successful partnership in care, barriers to good communication, and working with diverse patient and caregiver populations.
To view recordings of the biannual meeting please visit the MOQC website at https://moqc.org/resources/past-meeting-library.