Published Online:April 06, 2014
The session included insight from a panel of industry experts as they discussed the community oncology medical home (OMH) model and payment reform. The OMH is model of care that measures and rewards providers for meeting certain quality benchmarks. It emphasizes value and outcomes in cancer care, and it puts patients at the center. The OMH also has a steering committee that includes oncologists, payers, cancer care advocates, and many more invested stakeholders.
Bruce Gould, MD, president and medical director, Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, says the steering committee members support this new oncology practice model. It meets the needs of these 3 major stakeholders in order of importance: patients, payers, and providers.
“This is not a model that had guidelines, it’s not a model about accreditation, it’s not a model about a measure set,” Dr Gould said. “It’s a whole process of reengineering a practice to meet stakeholders’ needs.”
Dan McKellar, MD, FACS, chair of Commission on Cancer (CoC), clinical professor of surgery at Wright State University, said that OMHs would benefit providers seeking to improve value and quality of their cancer care programs. That’s why they also have a dedicated accreditation team. The CoC ensures that participating groups meet the standards of the OMH through accreditation programs that encourage hospitals and other providers to become CoC accredited. Their CoC accreditation standards are similar to those in OMH. One example he offered was ensuring that providers have strong physician leadership.
Bo Gamble, director of strategic planning initiatives at Community Oncology Alliance, noted that in addition to the steering committee and the OMH accreditation team through the CoC, they have an implementation team and IT advisory team. Both are essential to helping the steering committee manage invested stakeholders.
“If you could see on the back of my neck, I have it tattooed back there from the implementation team, ‘do not make it harder for practices.’ That is our march force,” Mr Gamble joked. “Every time we look at something new or different, the question comes up: ‘will this make it easier or harder for practices?’”
He said that in order to keep things simple, “we have to focus on the data portion of the objective measurements, or objective evaluation.”
Carol Murtaugh, RN, OCN, practice administrator, Hematology Oncology Consultants, and Gordon Kuntz, senior director, Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, also validated the benefits of the OMH, and how it might work for others seeking to adopt the value-based model into their own practices.