2013 ASCO National Oncology Census: Be Counted

2013 ASCO National Oncology Census: Be Counted

Guest Commentary

Jul 12, 2013

By Anupama Kurup Acheson, MD.  Anupama Kurup AchesonAnupama Kurup AchesonFrom accounts before 1600 BC in ancient Greece to records of a large census done during the Han Dynasty in China, censuses have played a crucial role historically across the world. The word “census” originated from the Latin word “censere.” It is the process to systematically acquire and record information about the members of a population. The first U.S. population census in 1790 was undertaken to form the basis of representation in Congress.

Last year ASCO undertook a historic effort to conduct the first National Oncology Census. That effort resulted in a survey of more than 600 U.S. oncology practices, representing more than 5,000 individual oncologists. In order to get information on more than just a sample -- to get information that represents a majority of U.S. oncology practices -- ASCO is seeking a more robust participation in this year’s National Oncology Census effort.

It is critically important for ASCO to understand how U.S. oncology practices are responding to environmental stressors as they continue to provide quality cancer care to their patients. Surprisingly, there is a lack of comprehensive, current, and reliable information nationally on how oncology practices are adapting to increasing administrative, financial, and political pressures. It is vitally important for ASCO’s policy and practice solutions to respond to the needs of all oncologists across the country. The second annual National Oncology Census seeks to collect information about current oncology care specialties and services, practice settings, staffing and mergers, technology use, payer and patient mix, etc. There will be an effort to compare data and trends to last year. This year’s survey has been streamlined for easier participation and can be filled out by oncologists or their practice managers.

As practicing oncologists, our community has a significant responsibility to prepare for the future, and that begins with a better clarity of our current practice environment and practice adaptations. Every oncologist should be counted to ensure that the data collected is truly representative of our entire community in the United States. Every oncologist in the United States has a stake in the ASCO National Oncology Census.

Dr. Acheson is a medical oncologist at Providence Cancer Center Oncology and Hematology Care Clinic and 2013-2014 Chair of the ASCO Clinical Practice Committee.


The ideas and opinions expressed on the ASCO Connection Blogs do not necessarily reflect those of ASCO. None of the information posted on ASCOconnection.org is intended as medical, legal, or business advice, or advice about reimbursement for health care services. The mention of any product, service, company, therapy or physician practice on ASCOconnection.org does not constitute an endorsement of any kind by ASCO. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of the material contained in, posted on, or linked to this site, or any errors or omissions.
Back to Top