American Society of Hematology

Policy and Practice Events

Policy and practice events held during the ASH annual meeting explore topics related to policy, advocacy, and practice. These sessions include the ASH Grassroots Network Lunch, ASH Practice Partnership Lunch, and more.

Policy and Practice Session at the ASH Annual Meeting

Grassroots Network Lunch

Saturday, December 1, 2018, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Marina Ballroom G

Thanks to ASH’s advocacy efforts and the ASH Grassroots Network, issues important to the future of hematology have been brought to the attention of the U.S. Congress and federal agencies. The ASH Grassroots Lunch provides a forum for interested members to learn how they can participate in ASH’s advocacy efforts, communicate with Congress, become effective advocates for hematology, and discuss the Society’s legislative and regulatory priorities.

Dr. Jason Westin, an ASH member who ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas' 7th Congressional District, will be the featured speaker at this year's lunch. Dr. Westin will discuss his experience as a candidate for elected office and share his thoughts on the importance of physicians and scientists being involved in advocacy and the political process.

Moderator:

Alan G Rosmarin, MD
Wolters Kluwer Health
Waltham, MA

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Special Symposium on Quality

Challenges Delivering and Measuring High-Quality Palliative Care for Patients With Hematologic Malignancies

Saturday, December 1, 2018, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
San Diego Convention Center, Room 11B

It is broadly recognized that providing high-quality symptom management, palliative care, and end-of-life (EOL) care is a critical dimension of cancer care. Previous research has suggested that patients with hematologic malignancies experience greater barriers to appropriate symptom management, timely palliative care, and higher intensity of care at the EOL, including higher rates of ICU admission, administration of chemotherapy in the weeks prior to death, and lower rates of hospice referral. On the other hand, there is controversy regarding how the quality of symptom management, palliative care, and EOL care should be measured for patients with blood cancers, as many of the existing metrics seem to have limited relevance. Moreover, systemic barriers may also exist that prevent patients with hematologic malignancies from accessing hospice care.

This session will review recent evidence regarding the quality of symptom management, palliative care, and EOL care that patients with blood cancers receive and how this care may differ from that received by other patients with other life-limiting diagnoses. Existing quality measures for EOL care will also be reviewed, in addition to controversies regarding how quality is measured in the context of pediatric and adult hematologic malignancies. Finally, speakers will discuss systemic and clinician-perceived barriers to timely hospice care for patients with blood cancers, along with new models of hospice tailored to their specific needs.

For more on the topic of palliative care, please see the ASH Practice Partnership Lunch session, which will review barriers to incorporating high-quality palliative care into hematologic oncology as well as strategies for overcoming these barriers.

Co-Chairs:

Lisa K. Hicks, MD, MSc
St. Michael's Hospital
Toronto, ON, Canada

Gregory A. Abel, MD,MPH
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA

Speakers:

Anthony O'Brien
Marymount University Hospital & Hospice
Dublin, Ireland
What Is Contemporary Palliative Care, and How and When Should It Be Integrated Into the Care of Patients With Serious Blood Disorders?

Kelly Marie Trevino, PhD
Weill Cornell Medicine
New York, NY
Measuring the Quality of Palliative Care in Hematologic Oncology: Are Current Measures Meaningful and/or Sufficient for Patients and/or Blood Cancers? What Types of Measures Do We Need?

David Hui, MD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX
Are Patients With Blood Cancers Receiving Quality Palliative and End-of-Life Care?

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Special Session with the National Cancer Institute Director

Saturday, December 1, 2018, 5:45 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
San Diego Convention Center, Hall AB

National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Norman E. Sharpless, MD, will present his vision for the NCI along with the four key focus areas: big data, clinical trials, workforce development, and basic science. Dr. Sharpless will also discuss how the NCI vision and key focus areas may impact the greater hematology professional community.

Chair:

Alexis A. Thompson, MD, MPH
Northwestern University
Chicago, IL

Speaker:

Norman E. Sharpless, MD
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, MD
Special Session with the National Cancer Institute Director

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ASH Practice Partnership Lunch

How to Incorporate Palliative Care Into Practice: Addressing Barriers and Solutions

Sunday, December 2, 2018, 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Marina Ballroom G

Patients with hematologic malignancies often have difficulty accessing high-quality symptom management and palliative care because of preconceived perceptions as well as limited reimbursement. The benefits of palliative care for patients, families, and the health care system include improved quality of life, better symptom management, improved coping, better prognostic awareness, enhanced ability to meet patient preferences for place of death, reduced costs, fewer hospital readmissions, and even improved survival.

To help attendees understand how to better incorporate palliative care into hematology practice, the speakers will address relevant barriers and potential solutions. Specifically, they will address issues related to physician and patient perception, limited reimbursement, and educational opportunities to help overcome barriers to palliative care.

For more on the topic of palliative care, please see the Special Symposium on Quality session, which will focus on how the quality of symptom management, palliative care, and EOL care should be measured for patients with blood cancers, as many of the existing metrics seem to have limited relevance.

The ASH Practice Partnership is the Society's network of practice-based hematologists with interests in practice-related policies, quality of care, new health care delivery systems, and practice management issues. The ASH Practice Partnership Lunch is a special session designed for this community.

Chair:

Joseph C. Alvarnas, MD
City of Hope National Medical Center
Duarte, CA

Speakers:

Areej El-Jawahri, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA
Changing the Perception of Palliative Care for Physicians and Patients

Tammy Kang, MD
Texas Children's Hospital
Houston, TX
Barriers and Solutions to Integrating Palliative Care Into Hematology

Robert Arnold
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
Palliative Care Communication at the End of Life

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Systems-Based Hematology Education and Networking Session

Engaging Leadership: How to Garner Support and Resources for Systems-Based Hematology in Academic and Community Settings

Sunday, December 2, 2018, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
San Diego Convention Center, Room 7B

A key issue for nascent systems-based hematologists is convincing hospital administrators that the time and expense related to either full- or part-time systems-based hematology activities provides value to the institution. This can be in the form of increased quality of care, reduced operating costs, lowered utilization of limited resources, or other enhancements to clinical efficiency. Whether the goal is hiring a full-time systems-based hematologist or simply carving out time and providing resources for a clinician to perform similar work, administrators and other gatekeepers require both a rationale and evidence for why it is worth the effort.

In this session, practicing systems-based hematologists from both academic and community settings will be joined by their administrators to discuss the business case for systems-based hematology and strategies for securing resources. The latter half of the session will be devoted to networking with the speakers and other systems-based hematologists over drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Chair:

Colleen Morton, MD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN

Speakers:

David A. Garcia
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Strategies for Securing Support in Academic Medical Systems

Thomas O. Staiger, MD
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Strategies for Securing Support in Academic Medical Systems

Janice W. Lawson, MD
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
Tallahassee, FL
Strategies for Securing Support in Community Medical Systems

Dean D. Watson, MD
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
Tallahassee, FL
Strategies for Securing Support in Community Medical Systems

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ASH-FDA Joint Symposium on New Drug Approvals I

Monday, December 3, 2018, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
San Diego Convention Center, Hall AB

This joint session, one of two co-sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will feature drugs recently approved to treat hematological disorders. FDA product-reviewers will discuss the safety and efficacy issues for the products' clinical trials and toxicity studies. The program will also include clinicians who will discuss their perspectives on the use of the products in the real-world setting. There will be ample time for questions from the audience.

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ASH Choosing Wisely® Campaign: 2018 ASH Choosing Wisely Champions

Monday, December 3, 2018, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
San Diego Convention Center, Room 30D

In cooperation with the ABIM Foundation, ASH has introduced the Choosing Wisely Champions initiative to recognize the efforts of practitioners who are working to eliminate costly and potentially harmful overuse of tests and procedures. Each year, three individuals are invited to present on successful utilization strategies that they have developed and implemented in their practice, institution, or hospital system. This provides an opportunity for clinicians, administrators, and other medical professionals to learn about projects that might be translated to their own practices.

Chair:

Anita Rajasekhar, MD
University of Florida Health Shands Hospital
Gainesville, FL

Speakers:

Adam F. Binder, MD
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Philadelphia, PA
Reduction in Inappropriate Vancomycin Prescribing for Febrile Neutropenia

Ming Yeong Lim, MBBChir, MA
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
Reduction in Use of Direct Thrombin Inhibitors (DTIs) in Patients With Suspected HIT

Prakash Vishnu, MD
Mayo Clinic Florida
Jacksonville, FL
Reduction in Unnecessary Red Blood Cell Transfusion in HSCT Patients

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ASH-FDA Joint Symposium on New Drug Approvals II

Monday, December 3, 2018, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
San Diego Convention Center, Hall AB

This joint session, one of two co-sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will feature drugs recently approved to treat hematological disorders. FDA product-reviewers will discuss the safety and efficacy issues for the products' clinical trials and toxicity studies. The program will also include clinicians who will discuss their perspectives on the use of the products in the real-world setting. There will be ample time for questions from the audience.

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