QI News and Trends: Bonus Content

HHS Announces Physician Groups Selected for an Initiative Promoting Better Cancer Care
HHS News Release (06/29/16)

Nearly 200 physician group practices and 17 health insurance companies have been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to participate in the Medicare arm of the Oncology Care Model. The five-year program began on July 1, 2016. "The Oncology Care Model encourages greater collaboration and information sharing so that cancer patients get the care they need," said Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. "This patient-centered care model furthers the goal of the Vice President's Cancer Moonshot to improve coordination, care, and outcomes while spending dollars more wisely." The model uses episodic and performance-based payments that reward high-quality patient care. Physician practices may, for example, receive performance-based payments for episodes of care surrounding chemotherapy administration to Medicare patients with cancer, in addition to a monthly care management payment for each beneficiary. The two-sided risk track of this model will be an Advanced Alternative Payment Model under the recently proposed Quality Payment Program. Practices participating in the five-year Oncology Care Model will provide treatment based on nationally recognized clinical guidelines for beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy, with an emphasis on person-centered care. Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer, noted the high number of physician groups that chose to be part of the Oncology Care Model--nearly twice the number expected. "It's clear that oncology physicians recognize the importance of this new performance-based, episode-based payment approach to cancer care," he said.

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