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Blue Ridge Cancer Care Achieves Certification Through ASCO’s Patient-Centered Cancer Care Pilot


Roanoke, VA – Blue Ridge Cancer Care has achieved certification through the Association for Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Patient-Centered Cancer Care Certification pilot based on its adherence to oncology medical home (OMH) standards, a single set of comprehensive, expert-backed standards for patient-centered care delivery. Published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), these standards focus on seven different domains of cancer care: patient engagement; availability and access to care; evidence-based medicine; equitable and comprehensive team-based care; quality improvement; goals of care, palliative and end-of-life care discussions; and chemotherapy safety.

“Blue Ridge Cancer Care has been delivering world class cancer care to the people of southwest Virginia for nearly fifty years. Over the last decade we have embraced the challenges of the future of medical care through continuous quality improvement, research, a holistic medical approach, and value-based care. The American Society of Clinical Oncology award is an acknowledgement of our commitment to excellence in cancer care and we are honored to be only one of twelve practices in the United States to achieve this designation.  To achieve this award, we were required to demonstrate excellence in all areas of contemporary cancer care delivery,” Matthew Skelton, MD, Medical Oncologist at Blue Ridge Cancer Care.

Beginning in July 2021, Blue Ridge Cancer Care, along with 11 other practices in the United States, prepared for surveyors to conduct site visits to performance relative to each OMH standard of care. With guidance from surveyors, Blue Ridge Cancer Care then undertook intensive practice transformation, including the development of new and/or improved workflow processes, staff education and training on the new initiatives, and compliance data monitoring to demonstrate success at meeting the standards. To achieve certification, practices needed to meet a total of 17 care delivery standards and 22 chemotherapy safety standards, for a total of 39 standards.

Blue Ridge Cancer Care will continue to work with surveyors to review quality improvement initiatives, patient satisfaction surveys, and oncology clinical pathways utilization, as well as data on quality measures, such as advance care planning, depression screening, chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life, and pain assessment to maintain certification and demonstrate its continued commitment to providing high-quality cancer care.

“We commend the certified practices for their achievement and dedication to transforming their practice. By doing the work to meet these standards and achieve certification, these practices are better equipped to succeed in a value-based system and deliver high-quality, equitable, evidence-based care for every single patient,” Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, Chair of the Board of the Association for Clinical Oncology.

The pilot is slated to end in Summer 2023. Over the next year, Blue Ridge Cancer Care will continue to work on quality assessment and improvement activities to maintain their certification.