Timeline: Survivorship Plans Move From Recommendation to Requirement

CURE, Winter 2012, Volume 11, Issue 4

A timeline that describes the evolution of the survivorship care plan.

The need to provide patients a survivorship care plan (SCP) was first recommended by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council in 2005. Subsequent discussions about long-term and late effects of cancer treatment led the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer to require accredited institutions to provide SCPs to patients on completing treatment.

2005

Patient completing primary treatment should be provided with a comprehensive care summary and follow-up plan that is clearly and effectively explained. This “Survivorship Care Plan” should be written by the principal provider(s) who coordinated oncology treatment. This service should be reimbursed by third-party payors of health care. —From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost In Transition

2006

Thought leaders meet in Washington, D.C., to discuss recommendations in the IOM/NRC report, including developing SCP templates, dealing with reimbursement issues and identifying sites for pilot programs. Their workshop summary, “Implementing Cancer Survivorship Care Planning,” is released in December.

2007

The National Institutes of Health asks the IOM to investigate psychosocial services for cancer patients and their families. In October, “Cancer Care for the Whole Patient” is released, asserting that every patient should expect and receive appropriate psychosocial health services.

2009

Data are released estimating, for the first time, the prevalence of long-term survivors of childhood cancer, many of whom already use or may need complex long-term care. The study’s authors urge health officials to conduct long-term survivorship research in this survivor population.

2010

Researchers, clinicians, cancer survivors, advocates, policy makers and public health experts attend the Fifth Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss, among other things, new models of survivorship care that include creating and implementing SCPs.

2011

The American Society of Clinical Oncology acknowledges the rising priority of survivorship by creating a committee charged with providing leadership and oversight of the organization’s cancer survivorship activities.

2012

A survivorship care plan is given to the patient on completion of treatment. The written or electronic survivorship care plan contains a record of care received, important disease characteristics, and a follow-up care plan incorporating available and recognized evidence-based standards of care, when available. —Cancer Program Standards for 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care