MNCM News

"The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." -- Sydney J. Harris

MNCM Recruiting Medical Groups to Pilot Test New Oncology Measures

MN Community Measurement (MNCM) is pleased to announce that we will begin pilot testing new measures for oncology related to symptom control during chemotherapy later this year. We are seeking volunteers to participate in the pilot.

Background & Measure Details

In December, MNCM’s Measurement and Reporting Committee (MARC) reviewed measure specifications for the Symptom Control During Chemotherapy measure set that were proposed by the cancer care measure development workgroup, in addition to the summary of public comment. After review and discussion, MARC approved the measure set for pilot testing in oncology practices in 2016.

The Symptom Control During Chemotherapy measure set will use a patient reported outcome (PRO) tool to assess patient symptoms. The results of the patient-completed assessments will be used to calculate outcome measures of symptom control related to pain, nausea and constipation during Days 5 – 15 of the cycle.

The PRO tool that will be used for the pilot is an excerpt of six questions from the National Cancer Institute’s PRO-CTCAE (Patient Reported Outcome Common Terminology Criteria Adverse Events) tool. The NCI is in agreement with MNCM and supportive of this use. It is anticipated that the PRO-CTCAE will be publicly available in the next few months and licensure will be obtained from NCI by MNCM. Free use of the tool in clinical practice without restriction to modes of administration is anticipated.

For more details, please refer to the measurement specifications and draft copy of the NCI PRO-CTCAE ® Symptom Assessment tool.

Pilot Participation

MNCM is seeking volunteers to participate in the pilot testing of these new measures. Oncology practices and medical groups who have oncologists overseeing the administration of chemotherapy are encouraged to participate.

There are many benefits to participating in a pilot project, such as providing feedback for the modification of measure specifications, the ability to have baseline data prior to wide-spread implementation, and the opportunity to gain experience in the measurement activity.

Participation is voluntary and all results used to analyze the measures’ validity, reliability and feasibility will be blinded and not publicly reported.

The dates of pilot testing are expected to be:

  • Dates of Index for Pilot – July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016
  • Dates of Assessment Period for Pilot – July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017
  • Data submission for Pilot – July-August 2017

Anticipated implementation of the measure would occur in 2018 for 2019 reporting.

Kick Off Meeting

If your medical group is interested in exploring pilot participation, we encourage you to attend an in-person, brown bag lunch meeting on Tuesday, May 10th from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the MNCM Office, 3433 Broadway Street NE, Minneapolis. If you are interested and/or plan to attend the meeting, please complete this brief survey.

If have any questions, please contact Collette Pitzen, MNCM Measure Developer, at pitzen@mncm.org or 612-454-4815.