Health Care Delivery Innovations Improve Survivorship for Cancer Patients

Huge Gaps and Disparities in Cancer Outcomes Can Be Bridged with Systems Approach to Prevention and Coordinated Care

WASHINGTON--()--Connected, coordinated systems of care are the key to saving lives and improving clinical outcomes for cancer patients, according to results presented at “All Systems Go! Closing the Gaps in Cancer Care,” the third annual Better Together Health event.

Sponsored by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), a coalition of leading multi-specialty medical groups, and the American Cancer Society (ACS), the event was held May 24 in Washington, D.C. at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. Representatives from CAPP, the ACS, the Biden Foundation, the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Geisinger Health System, the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and the Patient Advocate Foundation participated in the discussion.

“Americans face huge gaps in medical care, particularly when it comes to cancer,” said Robert Pearl, MD, chairman of CAPP, CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, and the president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “Across the country there are difficulties with access to care and preventive screenings. As a result, the likelihood of surviving cancer is lower than it needs to be. Outcomes vary by geography, economic status, race and ethnicity, and insured status. People die unnecessarily—not because we don’t know what to do, but as a result of the fragmentation of the current health care system, the absence of the most modern information technology, and frequent problems with access to care.

“We have the opportunity to change the system -- to bring physicians together through integrated multi-specialty medical groups, link them electronically through comprehensive health records, and motivate them to provide all of the required preventive screenings. Through effective physician leadership we can structure care delivery to eliminate delays and avoid potential errors, help patients get treatment earlier, increase survival rates, and reduce disparities. The time for change is now.”

“This is a time of great promise in cancer care,” said Richard C. Wender, MD, chief cancer control officer of the American Cancer Society. “We have proven strategies for prevention and early detection, new therapies that hold tremendous potential, and more cancer survivors than ever before. But the fact is, when it comes to health, zip code matters more than genetic code. We cannot truly deliver on the promise we see until we eliminate health disparities within our communities. Working together we must ensure everyone has access to the navigation and coordinated care they need.”

The “Colon Cancer Moonshot” is an example of one successful initiative conducted by the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, which set a goal to reduce mortality from colon cancer by 50 percent in 10 years. By analyzing every phase of cancer screening and treatment process, and identifying and addressing those that impacted survivorship, mortality has been reduced by 17 percent in just three years. Screening rates for colon cancer, which were at 45 percent of patients (the national average) jumped to 90 percent. See the video of one patient’s story presented in the program here.

Another example from Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania showed the impact of closely coordinated health care teams and patient centered care that helped avoid potentially dangerous complications and restore the health of a teenaged cancer patient. See the patient video here.

Additional panelists and speakers at the event included:

  • Jayne O’Donnell, Health Policy Reporter, USA Today, Moderator
  • Alan Balch, PhD, CEO, Patient Advocate Foundation
  • John Bulger, DO, Chief Medical Officer for Population Health, Geisinger Health System
  • John Fleming, MD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Technology Reform, Office of the National Coordinator, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • Michael Kanter, MD, Medical Director of Quality and Clinical Analysis, Southern California Permanente Medical Group
  • Laura Seeff, MD, Director of the Office of Health Systems Collaboration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

To learn more about transforming health care delivery and accountable care, and to receive updates on key health care issues, follow CAPP on Twitter at: @accountableDOCS.

About the Council of Accountable Physician Practices:

The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), an affiliate of the AMGA Foundation, is a coalition of visionary medical group and health system leaders. We believe that physicians working together, backed by integrated services, systems and data and technology, can best shape and guide the way care is delivered so that the welfare of the patient is always the primary focus. For more information, contact CAPP at

About the American Cancer Society:

The American Cancer Society, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation governed by a single Board of Directors that is responsible for setting policy, establishing long-term goals, monitoring general operations, and approving the organizational outcomes and allocation of resources. The Board is composed entirely of volunteers from the medical and lay communities. The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. For more information, contact the American Cancer Society at


Scott Public Relations
Joy Scott, 818-610-0270

Release Summary

CAPP, a group of 28 multi-specialty medical groups, presented results showing that coordinated care systems are key to improving outcomes for cancer patients at its 3rd Annual Better Together event


Scott Public Relations
Joy Scott, 818-610-0270