New 2017 CoC Standards: What Registry Management Professionals Need to Know


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For cancer programs across the nation, accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has become a vital part of delivering quality care and attracting both new patients and medical professionals.Certified Tumor Registrars (CTRs) play a crucial role in helping hospitals and other cancer facilities meet the criteria and submit the data needed for accreditation.

Three accreditation standards for the Commission on Cancer (CoC) are changing in 2017, and all hospitals are required to have begun participation in the Rapid Quality Reporting System. Here is what CTRs and cancer program leaders need to know:

3 Changes to Accreditation

  1. Increased Requirements for Pathology Reports (Standard 2.1)

Starting in 2017, the commission requires 95 percent of eligible pathology reports to have all the data elements required by the College of American Pathology protocols. The reports must be structured using synoptic reporting. Previously, 90 percent of eligible pathology reports were required to include the data elements, and programs that provided 95 percent of reports in synoptic formatting were able to earn commendation.

  1. Psychosocial Distress Screening Report Changes (Standard 3.2)

The Psychosocial Distress Screening annual discussion with the cancer committee must include the screening process as well as how evaluations are being conducted and the appropriate documentation. The distress screenings must be performed during a medical visit. Screenings conducted online or by mail that are not reviewed at a face-to face-medical visit are not considered compliant with the standard. The annual discussion with the cancer committee must also include the number of screenings being provided and referrals made as a result of the score.  

  1. Survivorship Care Plans for More Patients (Standard 3.3)

By Dec. 31, 2017, accredited cancer programs must provide survivorship care plans to 50 percent of eligible patients. By the end of 2018, this number will rise to 75 percent of eligible patients. An annual discussion within the cancer committee is required to outline patient eligibility decisions and the process for delivery of the care plans.

The Performance Activity Report includes the following table for each year of a survey cycle.

Rapid Quality Data Reporting Requires Quarterly Submission (Standard 5.2)

Accredited cancer programs are now required to participate in the American College of Surgeon’s Rapid Quality Reporting System. In 2017, cancer registries must submit new and updated cases at least once each quarter (or once per month if seeking commendation). The system makes concurrent case reporting and notification of treatment expectations possible. Data and performance reports from RQRS must be presented to the cancer committee at least semiannually.

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Correction: Registry Partners is researching the percentage of Survivorship Care Plans required  for NAPBC accreditation. Please watch for future posts following the NAPBC meeting on Friday May 5th in Chicago.