Feasibility of a Centralized Clinical Trials Coverage Analysis: A Joint Initiative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the National Cancer Institute.

Author(s): Szczepanek CM,  Hurley P,  Good MJ,  Denicoff A,  Willenberg K,  Dawson C,  Kurbegov D

Journal: J Oncol Pract

Date: 2017 Jun

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): COPTRG, NCORP

PubMed ID: 28481681

PMC ID: not available

Abstract: PURPOSE: Clinical trial billing compliance is a challenge that is faced by overburdened clinical trials sites. The requirements place institutions and research sites at increased potential for financial risk. To reduce their risk, sites develop a coverage analysis (CA) before opening each trial. For multisite trials, this translates into system-wide redundancies, inconsistencies, trial delays, and potential costs to sites and patients. These factors exacerbate low accrual rates to cancer clinical trials. ASCO and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) collaborated to address this problem. METHODS: An ASCO Research Community Forum working group proposed the concept of providing centrally developed CAs to research sites at protocol startup. The group collaborated with NCI and billing compliance experts to hold a symposium for key stakeholders to share knowledge, build skills, provide tools to conduct centralized CAs, and strategize about the next steps. RESULTS: Forty-eight attendees, who represented a range of stakeholders, participated in the symposium. As a result of this initiative, NCI directed the Cancer Trials Support Unit to convene a working group with NCI's National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) to develop tools and processes for generating CAs for their trials. A CA template with core elements was developed and is being adapted in a pilot project across NCTN Group and NCORP Research Bases. CONCLUSION: Centralized CAs for multisite trials-using standardized tools and templates-are feasible. They have the potential to reduce risk for patients and sites, forecast budget needs, and help decrease trial startup times that impede patient access and accrual to clinical trials.