Navigator wisdom

The prostate cancer navigator – the APC’s catalyst

Model prostate cancer programs have shown that employing a patient advocate or navigator is a critical success factor. In many programs, the advocate is a registered nurse who is designated as the patient navigator or care coordinator. If your practice does not have a navigator or is actively building out the role, read more below.

Patients need time to absorb all the information they receive and may miss or misunderstand basic information in their physician sessions. The patient navigator helps ensure that re-education occurs and can steer the patient to supportive personnel for help with nonclinical barriers to care such as financial or transportation issues. The navigator follows patients throughout the diagnosis and treatment phases of the disease through rehabilitation and supportive services as needed. Navigators play an active role in assuring patient satisfaction with the treatment process, as well as with pre-treatment decision-making and data collection.

The nurse navigator is a knowledgeable, unbiased third party who serves as a single point of contact for the patient, from the initial diagnosis and throughout the treatment plan. Having a readily available contact helps reduce patient anxiety and provides support for patients as they explore information and reach informed decisions. The nurse navigator encourages the patient to take an active role throughout the treatment process and continuum of care.

Successful patient navigators possess:

  • Empathy
  • Diplomacy
  • Exceptional communication and listening skills
  • Organizational skills

UroGPO is proud of the great work that navigators are doing for their practices and patients.

Administrator updates

Dispensary/pharmacy re-credentialing time

It’s time to verify that your dispensaries/pharmacies are appropriately credentialed to maintain payer contract compliance.

Here are the three key end-of-year credentialing steps to take.

  • Annual Fraud, Waste & Abuse and General Compliance training – certificates/letter for Third Party Station
  • Annual FWA Attestation on your NCPDP profile
  • Annual Medicare Attestation for Third Party Station
    • Practices have recently received an automated email from Third Party Station (Pharmacy First) stating that an unidentified item was about to expire, and if it did, your contract would be terminated. Rest assured, the email is referring to the Annual Medicare Attestation

The UroGPO team is happy to have partnered with you on your dispensary/pharmacy service lines. Please reach out to us for further information on these required year-end steps.


Jurisdiction J (JJ) transitioning from Cahaba GBA to Palmetto

CMS has selected Palmetto GBA as the A/B Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction J (JJ), which includes Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Part A providers will transition effective Jan. 29, 2018, and Part B providers Feb. 26, 2018. A list of FAQs is available here.

Modernizing Medicine’s modmed® Kiosk earns People’s Choice Award at 2017 UX Awards

Specialty-specific health information technology leader, Modernizing Medicine Inc., announced its modmed Kiosk solution has won the People’s Choice Award at The 6th UX Awards Summit in Palo Alto, California. A native iPad application, modmed Kiosk is designed for patients to perform self-service tasks such as completing patient intake forms at the doctor’s office. Kiosk is designed to empower providers to engage patients early on and directly involve them in their own care, reduce potential errors from illegible documentation while populating the patient’s electronic health record. For more information on modmed Kiosk, visit


Clinical hot topics * Powered by UroToday

GU cancers

Members interested in new imaging modalities for prostate cancer

At numerous APC champs and navigator meetings, members have been sharing their interest in accessing new imaging modalities for their patients. APC physicians and navigators often detect changes in a patient’s disease based on PSA, ALP or symptoms before changes are detected on traditional bone scans. In both the biochemical-recurrent and castrate-resistant space, these changes are often associated with patient anxiety as intervention is usually withheld until new sites of disease are located. One such new modality is the Axumin® (fluciclovine F 18) injection for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Many members have inquired about where to access this technology for their patients. See below for a list of sites, as well as a brief clinical overview from UroToday.

Augmenix® announces Medicare reimbursement rates for SpaceOAR® Hydrogel

SpaceOAR is the first and only “spacing” device to protect the rectum during radiation treatment of prostate tumors. The new Medicare Reimbursement Rates for CPT Code 55874 will be effective January 2018.

Bladder research highlighted at annual Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) meeting

Numerous trials are researching immunotherapy in bladder cancer. While most current drug approvals are in the 2L or 1L for platinum ineligible patients (pembrolizumab, atezolizumab), exciting work is being done in the adjuvant and BCG-refractory setting. We look forward to more advancements in this space to benefit patients in the urology setting.



Network news

UroGPO recently convened its biannual Medical Consultant Forum in Chicago to identify specific initiatives for UroGPO to undertake for the betterment of the network and the patients you serve. This meeting tackled M0 and M1 CRPC Continuum of Care and how practices will be able to do more for patients with CRPC in 2018 as new therapies come to market. Yet, challenges exist, such as the need for adherence to regular PSA monitoring, adapting intrapractice referral triggers to the APC and managing increased patient volume in the APC.

The panel emphasized a need for expanded CRPC guidelines that are inclusive of M0 & M1 disease so that APC staff can map a patient’s treatment journey throughout disease evolution. With the insights gathered, UroGPO will continue to build out the educational programming and resources to help your APC succeed in 2018 and beyond. Specifically, the 2018 APC Champs (1.0, 2.0 and 3.0) programs will integrate M0 operational topics as an important component. The Medical Consultant Forum will reconvene in early 2018 to further solidify UroGPO’s APC guidelines.

Did you know?

Cleveland served as the principal location of filming for the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story.” The protagonist Ralphie’s house is located in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, where it is open for tours and sits across the street from a museum dedicated to the film.

Message from the CEO

We are already hard at work planning for the 2018 UroGPO annual meeting. Those who have participated in previous meetings have seen the team’s dedication to making them engaging and impactful.

We are bringing our June 2018 annual meeting home to Cleveland, Ohio. On our home turf, we will enhance our event format to provide specialized content via dedicated meeting tracks, in addition to our successful general sessions. This will allow us to host more UroGPO members from different areas of expertise and interest. In addition to a GU cancers track, we’ll focus time and resources on clinical areas such as OAB, BPH and men’s health, and functional areas such as nurse navigation and practice administration.

Furthermore, we are excited to bring more education and expertise from outside the urology space. We’ve had superb reviews of how these guests offer unique perspectives that can be translated into your practices.

We have some ramp up time to plan, and we want to hear from you about which topics, presenters, or formats you’d find educational. Please reach out to one of our team members to share your thoughts.

Despite the December cold setting in on Cleveland, I eagerly look ahead to seeing you in sunny Cleveland in June.

David Coury, CEO


Navigator wisdom

The UroGPO team joined the AUS team in Chicago for its APC Champs 2.0 program. It was impressive how quickly AUS has integrated APC therapies for its patient population of men with prostate cancer.

The passion and excitement of the navigator and administrator staff was palpable as they push their extended urology team to optimize intra-practice patient referrals. Kristyn Minetti (APC nurse navigator), Eliza Roque (manager), Donna Erickson (director of ancillary services) and Linda Mathis have been a driving force in AUS’ APC success.  In speaking with Kristyn, she was eager to standardize the APC referral trigger and gain 100% compliance from team members.  Additionally, she was excited to begin leveraging data platforms for optimal patient identification and monitoring.  From the UroGPO perspective, these components of an APC specialist model have been key to unlocking patient treatment consistency and superior practice economics.

Notable initiatives in the works include APC marketing via patient brochures and web, defined scanning, monitoring and treatment protocols, and established APC success metrics. We look forward to seeing further success from this APC team.

UroGPO’s uTrack portal: Know your widgets

The uTrack portal has a wealth of information to optimize your member contract performance. Take advantage of the UroGPO product widgets so you don’t miss contract thresholds at quarter end.

The uTrack portal is your tool for accessing and assessing your active member contracts. uTrack pulls data for monitoring performance toward volume, tier or market share goals (depending on contract requirements), as well as subsequent rebate performance.

uTrack access can be granted to multiple practice members, and we encourage you to share performance goal information with relevant practice team members. Successful planning will prevent end-of-quarter rushes and allow for more consistent patient scheduling and manageable workloads.

We have activated three new widgets for the Endo portfolio of urology products with quarterly goals, Xiaflex, Aveed and Valstar.  Review your data to plan for quarter-end.