Quality Improvement Meets Oncology

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Why QOPI Programs Matter Quality Oncology Practice Initiative programs are designed for hematology-oncology physician-based practices. Strictly voluntary, QOPI programs provide a valuable tool to assess current practice standards. QOPI Methods and Measurement Chart abstraction is performed twice a year, spring and fall, and covers a five week period. During this collection process, practices participate in modules ranging from core measures, …

Mycosis Fungoides: CS-Ext and CS-SSF1

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Mycosis fungoides (9700/3), also known as Alibert-Bazin syndrome, is the most common type of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.  The name Mycosis fungoides loosely means “mushroom-like fungal disease.” It is so named because the skin tumors, particularly of severe cases, have mushroom-like appearance.   However, it is not a fungal infection but rather a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It occurs when certain …

Cancer Registry – Start Your Engines!

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Are you ready to report cancer cases diagnosed in 2014?  Summer brings races. Running races, bike races, boat races, and of course automobile races. While NASCAR and Indy Car drivers start their engines, cancer registries are revving up to report their 2014 cases. But before you start abstracting and coding cases diagnosed in 2014, your registry software must be ready! Here are …

MRA Thought of the Day – Do You Always Have to Code Grade Path Value and Grade Path System?

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For cases January 1, 2010 and forward, Grade Path Value records the numeric grade reported in the pathology report. It documents the numerator or first number of a tumor grade reported in a two, three, or four grade system. It supplements but does not replace the data item Grade/Differentiation. Grade Path System records whether a two, three, or four grade …

MRA Thought of the Day – When is GIST A Reportable Case?

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Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) may occur anywhere along the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), as well as in extravisceral locations, which include the omentum, mesentery, pelvis, and retroperitoneum. Typically, they arise from the wall of the GIT and extend inward toward the mucosa, outward toward the serosa, or in both directions. Lesions that involve the wall of the …

MRA Thought of the Day- Distal Esophagus vs. EGJ

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Distal Esophagus vs. EGJ When do you code the primary site to Distal Esophagus (C15.5) or Esophagogastric Junction (C16.0)? The arbitrary 10 cm segment encompassing the distal 5 cm of the esophagus and proximal 5 cm of the stomach, with the EGJ in the middle, is an area of contention. Cancers arising in this segment have been variably staged as …

MRA Thought of the Day – Do You Have an Action Plan for Implementation of Standard 3.2: Psychosocial Distress Screening?

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Although this Standard is to be phased in for 2015, now is the time to prepare an action plan before the implementation in January 2015. What do you, as the Cancer Registrar, need to do to prepare for this Standard? Here are my thoughts… First, include the implementation of this Standard as one of your Cancer Program’s goals. Standard 1.5 …

MRA Thought of the Day – What Else is New in 2013?

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Three sets of new data items are added for 2013: Country, Secondary Diagnoses, and Over-rides for CS 1-19. In my last blog (read here) I discussed the new data item Country. Now we will focus on the new items that identify Secondary Diagnoses, and Over-rides for CS 1-19. Secondary Diagnoses: Federal rules require that hospitals upgrade from ICD-9-CM coding to …

MRA Thought of the Day – What’s New in 2013?

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Changes in 2013: What’s new in 2013? Three sets of new data items are added for 2013: Country, Secondary Diagnoses, and Over-rides for CS 1-19. For now, let’s focus on the new items that identify Country. The three new items that identifies country: Address at DX-Country Address Current-Country Birthplace-Country Address at DX-Country identifies the country of the patient’s residence at …