Asked how a hospital might be measured when the oncologist, radiation oncologist, and surgical oncologist perform separate functions in outpatient versus inpatient settings, Bilimoria says the system can be scored together in terms of "how well [members of the care team] work together.
"For example, how often do they hold tumor conferences and discuss the patient. That could be a measure of quality."
Problems with cancer treatment across the country are increasingly in public view. Last September, the Institute of Medicine's cancer report highlighted issues with lack of evidence-based care, inadequately credentialed providers, poorly tested regimens, and a tendency for oncologists to be less than honest
Bilimoria's research was supported by the ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence Program, the Northwestern Institute for Comparative Effectiveness Research in Oncology and the American Cancer Society-Illinois.