New Initiative Designed to Promote Better Cancer Care
New York Oncology Hematology (NYOH), the region’s largest provider of cancer treatment, has been selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM), a new national initiative. NYOH participated in a rigorous and competitive application process and was selected as one of only 196 physician group practices nationwide. Selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), NYOH is participating in OCM to pilot a new delivery model for Medicare patients, that supports and encourages higher quality, more coordinated cancer care.
“We are proud to be the only comprehensive cancer treatment program in the area chosen to participate in the Oncology Care Model,” said Ira Zackon, MD, President, NYOH. “Whether it is providing patients the latest in clinical research trials, investing in new radiation technology or participating in a national program, like OCM, aimed at improving the patient experience, the physicians and staff at NYOH are committed to providing the highest quality care to our patients.”
Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the United States: more than 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2016. According to the National Institutes of Health, based on growth and aging of the U.S. population, medical expenditures for cancer in the year 2020 are projected to reach at least $158 billion (in 2010 dollars) – an increase of 27 percent over 2010. A significant proportion of those diagnosed are over 65 years old and Medicare beneficiaries.
“The Oncology Care Model encourages greater collaboration, information sharing, and care coordination, so that patients get the care they need, when they need it,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “This patient-centered care model fits within the Administration’s dual missions for delivery system reform and the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force – to improve patient access to and the quality of health care while spending dollars more wisely.”
The Oncology Care Model encourages practices to improve care and lower costs by rewarding high-quality patient care. The Oncology Care Model is one of the first CMS physician-led specialty care models and builds on lessons learned from other innovative programs and private-sector models.
Practices participating in the five-year Oncology Care Model will provide treatment following nationally recognized clinical guidelines for beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy, with an emphasis on person-centered care. They will provide enhanced services to beneficiaries who are in the Oncology Care Model to help them receive timely, coordinated treatment. These services may include:
- Coordinating appointments with providers within and outside the oncology practice to ensure timely delivery of diagnostic and treatment services;
- Providing 24/7 access to care when needed;
- Arranging for diagnostic scans and follow up with other members of the medical team such as surgeons, radiation oncologists, and other specialists that support the beneficiary through their cancer treatment;
- Making sure that data from scans, blood test results, and other tests are received in advance of patient appointments so that patients do not need to schedule additional visits; and
- Providing access to additional patient resources such as emotional support groups, pain management services, and clinical trials.
“This program does not change the way our physicians treat cancer – NYOH continues to use some of the most innovative immunotherapy and radiation technology available today,” explains Rufus Collea, Medical Director, NYOH. “The OCM program is designed to improve communication and coordination of care to create a better patient experience. At NYOH, we are already providing many of these services. Being selected to participate in this program gives us more structure and resources to improve and expand what we do in helping patients and their loved ones navigate cancer treatment.”