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Highlights of HOPA’s 2017 Practice Management Program (September 15–16)

Lindsey Amerine, PharmD MS BCPS
Assistant Director of Pharmacy
UNC Medical Center
Chapel Hill, NC


HOPA’s 5th annual Practice Management Program (PMP) was held September 15–16, 2017, in Chicago, IL. The Windy City blew in excellent presenters and an engaged audience for the 2-day conference. Session topics ranged from oncology financial management and oncology care models to intravenous (IV) automation and technology.

A preconference that focused on investigational drug services (IDSs) was held on September 15. Christopher Lowe, PharmD BCPS, spoke about a centralized IDS for each of his health system’s entities. Kathy Galus, PharmD BCOP, highlighted the role of clinical pharmacists within the IDS and showed how a proactive approach to services can benefit the research community. Sapna Amin, PharmD BCOP, described the recommendations for IDS best practices made by HOPA and the Association of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Each presentation raised thought-provoking questions and stimulated lively discussion among the attendees.

The conference began with opening remarks from HOPA’s president, Susannah Koontz, PharmD BCOP FHOPA. Prior to the keynote address, she introduced a surprise award renaming HOPA’s PMP keynote lecture the Niesha L. Griffith Keynote Lecture. Koontz presented a plaque to Niesha Griffith, MS RPh FASHP, vice president of cancer services at West Virginia University Health System. Griffith then introduced the inaugural Niesha L. Griffith Keynote Lecturer, William (Bill) McGivney, PhD, managing principal at McGivney Global Advisors and former CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

McGivney spoke about the evolving needs and direction of cancer care and called on HOPA to continue to set the direction for cancer care delivery and take a leadership role in that arena. He commended HOPA’s strategic plan as a sturdy framework for these efforts, similar to the path followed by the NCCN in solidifying its place as a leader in cancer care.

The remainder of Friday’s sessions centered on oncology care models, white bagging/brown bagging solutions, and oral chemotherapy. Each presentation provided not only excellent information but also practical solutions and examples to help audience members within their own practice sites. The Saturday morning sessions covered a wide array of topics: productivity models, budgeting and managing oncology financials, implementation of USP <800>, and IV technology and automation. The conference ended with sessions on the use of electronic medical records to manage oral chemotherapy and prior authorizations for all infusions and a summary of HOPA’s May 2017 Policy Summit on Drug Waste.

All who attended owe a debt of gratitude to those who made the 2017 PMP another fantastic conference and a special thanks to all the presenters, moderators, and the HOPA PMP Committee! We hope to see each of you again and some new faces at next year’s Practice Management Program—to be held September 14–15, 2018, in Rosemont, IL (near Chicago). Mark your calendar now, and plan to attend this valuable educational event.  

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