This page was last updated on 10/16/2020.  Please check back frequently for updates.

CancerLinQ COVID-19 Insights

CancerLinQ is monitoring COVID diagnoses among active cancer patients in our database of 1.5 million total cancer patients from participating organizations. COVID disease is being detected by searching for positive tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and/or diagnosis of COVID disease and/or diagnosis of viral pneumonia not attributed to known agents. These cases have been characterized by age, gender, race, ethnicity, and cancer diagnosis. In addition, we have provided similar distributions for all active cancer patients from the sites that are reporting COVID disease (“Baseline Cases”) for purposes of comparing the COVID infected cancer population with the non-infected patient populations at the same sites.   

Visit the CancerLinQ website to access this series of reports.

PracticeNET COVID-19 Insights

To complement the clinical data gathered by CancerLinQ, ASCO’s PracticeNET program has compiled data on practice activity from its benchmarking collaborative. Starting in March 2020, a group of 16 practices have shared weekly data in order to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on practice operations.

Observations from this data include:

  • Starting the week of March 15, 2020, there was a 30% decrease in total visit activity, including new patient visits, established patient visits, and hospital visits.
  • In-office established patient visits have increased to pre-COVID-19 levels, with significant fluctuations.
  • New patient and consultation visits decreased in March and have maintained at approximately 70-80% of pre-COVID-19 rates through July; August new patient and consultation visits increased to pre-COVID-19 rates, though this is early data.
  • Telemedicine visits represented 27% of total office/outpatient visits in the week of April 12 and have declined to ~8% of visits.
  • Overall physician work relative value units (a measure which impacts various aspects of staffing and reimbursement) initially decreased approximately 30% and has since recovered to and possibly exceeded pre-COVID-19 rates.
  • While chemotherapy infusion visits have not significantly changed, there was a decrease in non-chemotherapy infusion visits throughout March and April, which may have since recovered in early June.

Other Data Insights

ASCO’s JCO® Clinical Cancer Informatics (JCO® CCI) features content from applied clinical informatics to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. JCO CCI recently published “Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer-Related Patient Encounters” (London, et al.), which explores cancer-related patient encounters in the COVID and Cancer Research Network, along with comparative data from a United Kingdom institution. Also accepted for publication, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care: How the pandemic is delaying cancer diagnosis and treatment for American Seniors” (Patt, et al.) found significant decreases in screening, visits, therapy, and surgeries in April through July 2020.