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Fighting Cancer with Data: Enabling the California Cancer Registry to Measure and Improve Care

Cancer Registries Workgroup

Information about cancer care quality in California is lacking. The California Cancer Registry houses important data, which, if linked with other data sources, could help fill the gaps.

A woman in a wheelchair wearing a bright turquoise bandanna. She has an IV in her arm.

Each year, approximately 140,000 Californians are diagnosed with cancer — about 16 people an hour. Yet little information exists about variations in the quality of cancer care that could help guide families' decisions about where to get that care. The lack of information also hinders providers, payers, policymakers, and others from making informed decisions and improving the quality of care.

CHCF convened a workgroup of experts to explore leveraging the California Cancer Registry (CCR) to produce quality of cancer care metrics that are accessible to and meaningfully usable by patients, referring and specialist providers, payers, and policymakers. The group developed a proposal for a new quality of care reporting system for California, based on the CCR, which would include three elements:

  1. Expanded use of the registry's data to include quality measurement and public reporting, including provider identification
  2. Linkage of the registry to administrative claims and utilization data, to supply information not currently captured by the registry
  3. Linkage of the registry to systems of electronic health records (EHRs), to further supplement registry data

This issue brief provides background information and outlines the workgroup's conclusions and recommendations regarding this new vision for the registry. The brief includes a "model statute" that demonstrates how state law establishing and regulating the CCR could be modified to permit the changes that the workgroup recommends.

The issue brief is available under Document Downloads.

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