The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has launched a major support initiative effort behind the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center’s (CMMI) oncology payment and delivery reform initiative, the Oncology Care Model (OCM).
Launched July 2016, the OCM is an oncology-specific payment and delivery reform model which aims to provide higher quality, more highly coordinated oncology care while achieving cost efficiencies for Medicare and beneficiaries. Close to 200 oncology practices and 16 payers across the country treating more than 150,000 Medicare beneficiaries are currently participating in the OCM.
COA is focused on helping oncology practices succeed and thrive in implementing the OCM. In addition to providing access to experts with deep knowledge of Federal and private reform efforts, COA has also organized a peer-to-peer learning network, and is hosting regular calls to provide guidance on the complex challenges practices face with the OCM. COA is also working with practices to develop and share free tools and resources to help OCM practices manage implementation issues, such as providing estimates of the total cost of patient care. This all ties in with the considerable work and resources COA has developed as part of its Oncology Medical Home, which is the foundation of the OCM.
The COA OCM support network was created at the request of oncology practices. To date, more than 60 percent of OCM practices are actively participating, including the key oncologists, administrators, and nurses responsible for it. COA is also working closely with the 17 health insurers participating in the OCM to ensure smooth payer-provider communications as the initiative is formed.
COA has also partnered with expert veterans of Federal quality and payment reform initiatives who are serving as close advisors to practices. They include Kavita Patel, MD, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former Director of Policy for The White House under President Obama and a senior advisor to the late Senator Edward Kennedy; Basit Chaudhry, MD, PhD, founder and CEO of Tuple Health and former medical scientist at IBM Research where, among other things, he was lead research clinician for IBM’s artificial intelligence computing system Watson.
Practices interested in joining the OCM support network should email OCMSupport@COAcancer.org. It is free of charge for all OCM practices to join.
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Kavita Patel, MD
Basit Chaudhry, MD, PhD