About the Community Oncology Alliance
The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for community oncology practices and, most importantly, the patients they serve. COA is the only organization dedicated solely to community oncology where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated. The mission of COA is to ensure that cancer patients receive quality, affordable, and accessible cancer care in their own communities. More than 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year and deaths from the disease have been steadily declining due to earlier detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
Cancer treatment can be intense and span many years requiring regular physician visits for chemotherapy and checkups. Keeping patients close to their homes, families, and support networks lessens the burden of this devastating disease. With the majority of Americans battling cancer receiving treatment in the community setting, it is imperative that the vitality of the community cancer care delivery system be preserved.
For more than 16 years, COA has built a national grassroots network of community oncology practices to advocate for public policies that benefit patients. Individuals from all levels of the cancer care delivery team – oncologists, hematologists, pharmacists, mid-level providers, oncology nurses, patients and survivors – volunteer their time on a regular basis to lead COA and serve on its committees.
By offering innovative solutions to Congress and policymakers, empowering patients, and working closely with other health care stakeholders, COA is helping to shape a future where all Americans have access to quality, affordable cancer care.
What We Do
COA Administrators’ Network
The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) Administrators’ Network (CAN) seeks to enhance communications among practice administrators within community oncology practices, especially relating to operational and reimbursement issues. CAN members regularly share best practices and intelligence on the issues their practices face, focusing on increasing operating efficiencies and providing a unified advocacy voice with both Medicare and public payers.
Community Oncology Pharmacy Association
The Community Oncology Pharmacy Association (COPA) was formed in response to the increasing number of community oncology clinics dispensing oral cancer drugs and ancillary therapies. Financial pressures have begun to separate oral cancer therapy from the point of care and oncologist control, thus interfering with the physician-patient relationship, medication adherence, and more. As a non-profit, COPA is in the unique position of serving as a noncommercial organization dedicated to addressing these and other oncology pharmacy issues, all in the sole interest of patient care.
Community Oncology Alliance Patient Advocacy Network
The Community Oncology Alliance Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) was created in recognition of the vital role patients should play in advocating for access to local affordable care for all cancer patients. CPAN is a non-cancer type specific national network representing patients, cancer survivors, caregivers, family members, medical and oncology professionals, and members from the general community.
COA Advanced Practice Provider Network
The COA Advanced Practice Provider Network (CAPP) supports oncology nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other advanced practice providers who play a larger part in care for patients with cancer. The Network consists of a private, peer-to-peer only information sharing website and listserv; monthly conference calls to review important practice issues and discuss solutions; and opportunities for in-person meetings. The goal of the CAPP Network is to keep oncology advanced practice providers up to date on the latest news and developments, such as patient support strategies; health reform initiatives; the newest drugs and therapies; and strengthening advanced provider leadership roles in practices.
COA Fellows Initiative
The COA Fellows Initiative seeks to engage and educate oncology hematology fellows on the value of practicing in the community setting. As fellows begin to make decisions about where to practice, the initiative is designed to explore, in detail, the opportunities community oncology presents.
Oncology Care Model Support Network
COA is focused on helping oncology practices succeed and thrive in implementing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center’s (CMMI) oncology payment and delivery reform initiative, the Oncology Care Model (OCM). In addition to providing access to experts with deep knowledge of federal and private reform efforts, COA has organized a peer-to-peer learning network, and is hosting regular calls to providing guidance on the complex challenges practices face with the OCM. COA is also working with practices to develop and share free tools and resources to help OCM practices manage implementation issues. To date, more than 60% of OCM practices are actively participating, including the key oncologists, administrators, and nurses responsible for it. COA is also working closely with the 17 health insurers participating in the OCM to ensure smooth payer-provider communications as the initiative is formed.
Oncology Medical Home
COA has pioneered policy on the Oncology Medical Home (OMH) and payment reform for cancer care. The OMH model is a patient-centered system focused on promoting, delivering and ensuring quality and value in cancer care. Working with the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, OMH accreditation standards have been completed and, to date, 10 pilot practices have been fully accredited.
Advocacy & Policy
COA is the advocacy voice for community oncology with policymakers in Washington, DC and across the country. Our members have testified before both chambers of Congress and are regularly on Capitol Hill, advocating to shape key, bipartisan legislation that impacts community oncology. Through the independent COA PAC, members also support candidates who have demonstrated an interest in community cancer care and in preserving and enhancing the nation’s community cancer care delivery system.