SGO addresses threats to gynecologic oncology care; proposes solutions

Ellen J.Sullivan, MS, MSJ
Director of Corporate Communications and Advocacy

SGO addresses threats to gynecologic oncology care; proposes solutions

CHICAGO, IL (Jan. 30, 2013)—The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) today proposed new ways to deliver high quality, cost-effective care to women with gynecologic cancers.

The solutions are presented in an SGO report, “Creating a New Paradigm in Gynecologic Cancer Care: Policy Proposals for Delivery, Quality and Reimbursement.”

“We face a crisis. Women with gynecologic cancer are often treated by providers lacking sufficient training and experience,” said SGO President Ronald D. Alvarez, MD. “Care for these women is often fragmented, uncoordinated, and not based upon established guidelines.

“As a result of this broken system, the cost of providing care to women with gynecologic cancer remains high and these women often suffer poorer outcomes. With limited accountability in our system, the goal of providing consistent, high quality, cost-effective care remains elusive.”

In June 2012, the SGO convened a Practice Summit comprised of thought leaders in the medical subspecialty of gynecologic oncology to assess the health care system and policy environment. Over the following months, participants examined the issues raised at the Summit and developed solutions.

Among the SGO proposals:

  • Care of a woman with a suspected or diagnosed gynecologic cancer should be structured like the patient-centered medical home model and be coordinated by a single health care provider (a “team captain”) with multidisciplinary training in the care of women with gynecologic cancer.
  • Measurable standards for high quality care for women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer should be determined, validated and tracked. Demonstration projects, registry systems and funding for outcomes-based research are key.
  • Several payment systems, including  diagnosis-based, episode-of-care reimbursement system in which payment would be based on each diagnostic episode of the woman’s illness rather than on specific procedures, should be developed and tested.

“The SGO proposals provide the roadmap towards improving the coordination and quality of gynecologic cancer care, while reducing costs associated with unnecessary testing and inappropriate therapies,” said Dr. Alvarez.


About SGO

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) is a national medical specialty organization of physicians and allied health care professionals who are trained in the comprehensive management of women with malignancies of the reproductive tract. The Society’s membership, totaling more than 1,600, is primarily comprised of gynecologic oncologists, as well as other related medical specialists including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, social workers and pathologists. SGO members provide multidisciplinary cancer treatment including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and supportive care.