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THE CASE FOR CHANGE

In response to significant challenges and opportunities facing pathology, the CAP has launched a multiyear campaign to transform the specialty. The term Transformation refers to the collective efforts now under way at the CAP and across the specialty to foster new and enhanced roles for the pathologist and greater recognition of the pathologist as a physician and a critical member of the patient care team. The Transformation will have an enormous impact on the way pathologists practice; how they are perceived by their clinical colleagues, patients, and others in the medical community; and how they are reimbursed for their services.

The goal of transformation is to strengthen and defend the value proposition (i.e., unique benefits) that pathologists offer to patients and fellow clinicians. Transformation initiatives will define, model, and demonstrate a new set of value- added services that no other physician specialty can perform as well and that create new economic opportunities for pathologists and improve patient outcomes.

Transformation Program Office
The Transformation Program Office (TPO) facilitates, coordinates, and integrates Transformation-related activities across the College. It is a small team that brings together dedicated resources in transformation strategy, planning, research, communications, external relationship management, molecular medicine, and other capabilities to give the CAP the tools it needs to make the transformation a reality.

The Case for Change
The College is approaching Transformation of the specialty like a pathologist would—seeking data to support a “diagnosis and treatment plan.” The better we understand the mindset and needs of our stakeholders, including other physicians, administrators, regulators, payers, and patients, the more successful we will be.

To learn more about the needs and current perceptions of other stakeholders in the Transformation, the CAP commissioned Ogilvy Public Relations to conduct a detailed quantitative survey. Responses from more than 1000 CAP members tell the story: the membership strongly supports the Transformation and is committed to making the changes needed to secure the future of the specialty. The perceptions and needs identified by other stakeholders will be used to plan the Transformation roadmap and measure our progress on the journey. See Research Findings (PowerPoint, 1.6 MB).

To build our data-driven Case for Change, the TPO has launched four integrated research projects or “modules”. The Case for Change is a large effort that involves over 60 CAP members and 35 CAP staff and the involvement continues to grow. Each module effort is led by a CAP staff member who works in cooperation with a member lead.

Over the next two years, these research modules are designed to:

  • Provide the Transformation with a firm data-driven foundation. Why do we need to change? What real challenges and opportunities do we face? Which of those represent the biggest risk, or biggest opportunity, why, and when?
  • Define, in detail, scenarios for the future of the specialty that will allow pathologists to attain or reinforce sustainable defendable positions as key physician members of the clinical care team, while accounting for inherent uncertainty and competing interests in the healthcare marketplace. What enhanced or new value added services will pathologists need to offer? What roles will pathologists need to play to deliver those services?? How will those services and roles need to be organized as a business? How will pathologists get paid for those services and roles? How many pathologists will be needed to fulfill those roles and deliver those services?
  • Support the actual demonstration of the value created through the new or enhanced services envisioned, through pilot projects, demonstration projects with payers, and other mechanisms. How can we best prove we can do what we say we can do? How can we best arm ourselves to win in debates over Medical Home, ACOs, and other future healthcare models?

The four modules are:

Module Objectives
I. Pathology Workforce Supply and Demand Develop a rigorous model for forecasting supply and demand for pathologists and related workforce over the next 20 years in the US, identify gaps, and develop a strategy and plan to close gaps.
II. Pathologist Value Proposition: Roles and Value Created Identify, model, and analyze impact and economics of new and enhanced roles that pathologists can play to sustainably create value as physicians, identify gaps in achieving new roles, and develop and strategy and plan to close gaps.
III. Pathology Practice and Service Models: Evolution and Economics Analyze the changing economics of pathology practice and service models and the shifting points of highest value creation in the pathology and healthcare value chains.
IV. Timing and Impact of Advances in New and Emerging Technologies Understand the impact of growth in new and emerging technologies and associated medical practice (genomic/molecular testing, in-vivo diagnostics, and others) on pathology roles, practice models, and economic models.

 

OTHER TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVES

  • The CAP Center for Pathology and Laboratory Quality.
    Launched in 2009, the Center develops evidence- and consensus-based practice guidelines and whitepapers focused on patient care outcomes that will strengthen the practice of pathology. Most of these guidelines are developed in partnership with other relevant medical societies, giving more weight and credibility to the guidelines and giving pathology a different voice in patient care outcomes.
  • The CAP Institute.
    Today, the Institute is a brand that is used to market leading edge education programs including SAMs and the PHC Webinar Series. It will grow to include a dedicated team organized as an incubator for experimental and leading-edge pilot projects designed to stimulate transformation and demonstrate/measure pathologist value in new and enhanced roles.
  • The CAP Policy Roundtable.
    The CAP Policy Roundtable will augment existing advocacy functions with a new policy development capability, creating 3-4 peer-reviewed policy position white papers a year.

 

 

 

 

CAP Member Research Supporting Transformation

CAP commissioned Ogilvy Public Relations to conduct a detailed quantitative survey. Responses from more than 1000 CAP members indicate the membership strongly supports the Transformation and is committed to making the changes needed to secure the future of the specialty.

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