Oncology Coding Break – Active Surveillance

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Janet Raleigh

Quality Consultant

The March 2024 Registry Partners Oncology Coding Break is here to discuss Active Surveillance. We’ll explain what it is and how it works. Active Surveillance is a way of managing treatment that’s widely accepted. Essentially, if a patient and their doctor agree on Active Surveillance, it means they won’t undergo any other treatments initially. Instead, they’ll be closely monitored with regular scans, lab tests, and possibly biopsies to keep an eye on the disease for any changes. If the disease does progress, then the patient might move on to other treatments like radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy. These would be considered subsequent treatments, marking the end of the Active Surveillance phase.

We’ll look at some examples to make it clearer. For instance, imagine a patient with prostate cancer, who has a low Gleason score of 6 and a low PSA value, indicating a low risk. In this case, the urologist, who’s overseeing the patient’s care, suggests Active Surveillance and the patient agrees. Over time, they’ll have regular PSA tests and follow-up biopsies. If the disease starts to advance, maybe showing a higher Gleason score in a biopsy, then the doctor might recommend a treatment like Lupron. At this point, the Active Surveillance phase ends, and Lupron becomes a subsequent treatment.

We’ll also go through more cases to help you understand Active Surveillance better.

Don’t forget to register for our special edition Oncology Coding Break next month! Visit our Events page to sign up and click here to download the presentation as a PDF.