CHAMPS' Brenda Mileto Weighs in on 2016 Changes Impact Collaborative Staging

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In CHAMPS Oncology's blog post, 2016 Changes Impact Collaborative Staging, Brenda Mileto shares her thoughts on the topic.

Brenda L. Mileto, Senior Manager of Training and Education, CHAMPS Oncology

In CHAMPS Oncology's blog post, 2016 Changes Impact Collaborative Staging, Brenda Mileto shares her thoughts on the topic.

The New Year always brings change. For instance, beginning January 1, 2016, Collaborative Staging will no longer be required for cancer registry data. Moving forward the focus will be on the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging. Standard-setters in the U.S. and Canada will require AJCC Tumor, Lymph Node and Metastasis (TNM) and Summary Stage coding to be recorded in the cancer registry abstract.

The Industry Responds to this Change:
In response, a Collaborative Staging transition group has been formed by organizations within the cancer surveillance community to provide updates, share information and develop best practices to address this change.

Communication updates and ongoing efforts to coordinate the transition are being shared through the Collaborative Staging group’s newsletter . The latest update addresses the confusion surrounding the terms “Directly Coded” or “Directly Assigned” AJCC Stage.

These terms were originally intended to differentiate between the derived AJCC Stage obtained through the use of the Collaborative Staging System versus the collection of AJCC Stage following the AJCC 7th edition manual. To avoid any confusion, moving forward, “the collection of AJCC Stage and SEER Summary Stage” will mean the collection of stage without the use of the Collaborative Staging System.

CHAMPS Responds to this Change:
In order to prepare for this Collaborative Staging change, CHAMPS Oncology has scheduled cancer registry education sessions for their 40-plus staff members in Cleveland, Columbus and Indianapolis. CHAMPS’ staff will continue to learn how to identify inconsistencies and choose the correct staging elements for their clients.

To learn more about the CHAMPS Oncology Outlook blog, visit

In this transforming healthcare environment of patient-centered care, CHAMPS Oncology – like cancer program administrators, clinicians, industry leaders – understands the importance of quality cancer information for administrative planning, clinical outcomes, and performance measures to improve quality of cancer care. CHAMPS Oncology’s team of cancer information specialists and multi-credentialed certified tumor registrars (CTRs) strategically partners with cancer programs nationwide, offering customized strategies and solutions that best complement the respected cancer programs they are privileged to assist. CHAMPS Oncology specializes in cancer information management, cancer program consulting, informatics, data quality and education, and quality initiatives. For more about CHAMPS Oncology, please contact Toni Hare, RHIT, CTR, Commission on Cancer-trained consultant and vice president, at 216.255.3716 or by email.

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