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In the News: June 13–June 20

Cancer Survivorship Is Increasing

National Cancer Survivors’ Day occurs in early June, and this year, Modern Healthcare shared an infographic portraying the recent increase in cancer survivorship. As of January of 2019, there has been 16.9 million cancer survivors, and this number is expected to increase to 21.7 million by 2029.

The most common cancer types among today’s cancer survivors are breast (3.6 million or 23%), prostate (3.3 million or 21%), colorectal (1.5 million or 9%), gynecologic (1.3 million or 8%) and melanoma (1.2 million or 8%). Roughly, 67% (10.3 million) of cancer survivors have survived 5 or more years, 45% have survived 10 or more years, and 18% have survived 20 or more years. Over the next decade, the number of people who have survived 5 or more years postdiagnosis is expected to increase by about 33% to 15 million.

To learn more about the future of cancer, please watch the on-demand Sg2 webinar Cancer Landscape 2019 to hear our experts discuss cancer growth projections and the latest technologies and their impact on cancer care delivery, as well as the future of consumerism, virtual health utilization, and how sites of care are shifting within oncology.


Data Insights Can Provide Powerful Storytelling

A recent Healthcare IT News article discusses how data can enable changes through storytelling. Today, health care leaders have access to a breadth of data, which enables data-driven decisions and change. Although some fear data may replace the practice of medicine through machine learning and artificial intelligence, proponents argue health care leaders have the potential to enable better outcomes by understanding the compelling narratives data insights provide. Data can also be used to promote efficiency and quality improvements within the health care system; however, to leverage the breadth of data, it is imperative to combine the right pieces and effectively frame the information to enable sustainable improvements.

Sg2 believes the strategy life cycle within a health care system must be regularly enriched with timely, data-driven insights to ensure this iterative process remains high-functioning. Historically, organizing vast information to unearth strategic relevance to unique business needs has proved challenging. Sg2’s Patient Flow™ is an example of how claims analytics can transform complex information into critical insights, helping hospitals and health systems understand, act upon, and track continuum-wide opportunity and risk. To learn more, please read the Sg2 report Inside Patient Flow: Deeper Insights for a Dynamic Network.


Palliative Care Programs Are Growing in the US

A recent PEW article discusses the recent growth of palliative care programs in the US. According to Mount Sinai’s Center to Advance Palliative Care, in 2000, less than 25% of US hospitals had a palliative care program, but by 2016, approximately 75% of US hospitals offered one. Despite this growth, an understanding of and access to palliative care is still forming.

Palliative care can be useful to many patients because it aims to relieve patients’ symptoms and improve their quality of life. However, because palliative care is often provided to hospice patients, the 2 are often perceived—and sometimes defined—as a pair, which can limit patient access. According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, most states define palliative care within their hospice regulations, and, in doing so, they limit palliative care to patients with terminal illnesses. More states are expanding their definition of palliative care, though, to be inclusive of all patients who may benefit.

States are also attempting to address the shortage of palliative care providers as the program grows across the nation. Some states have required continued medical education in end-of-life care, palliative care or pain management. Others are piloting programs to make palliative care more accessible to their communities. To learn more about how to guide your organization in building a more innovative palliative care program, please read the Sg2 FAQ Best Practices in Community-Based Palliative Care.

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