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Dr Barbara McAneny Explains the Current Focus of Care Management in Oncology

Keeping people with cancer out of the hospital is a low-hanging fruit that is of huge benefit to patients, explained Barbara L. McAneny, MD, president of the American Medical Association.


Keeping people with cancer out of the hospital is a low-hanging fruit that is of huge benefit to patients, explained Barbara L. McAneny, MD, president of the American Medical Association.

Transcript

How do you think the role of care coordination has shifted under OCM and under value-based care models?

I think that care management is focusing now on the low-hanging fruit of keeping people out of the hospital and keeping people out of the emergency departments. There will always be cancer patients in the hospital, we will never get to zero on that. But, if we set up our practices so that we can manage a lot of the side effects of cancer and its treatment in the lower-cost physician office setting, we can save significant amount of money.

In COME HOME, we did exactly that and we saved an average of $2100 per cancer patient simply by cutting down hospital visits and emergency departments, delivering antibiotics or fluids in the office. The benefit to that is huge to patients, because patients do not want to spend their time in the hospital. They want to be home with the people that they love and feeling well enough to enjoy being home.

So, when we can intervene early, we can accomplish that goal of better patient quality of life. And then, by the way, we also saved some money. So, a lot of the practices around the country have learned from what we published in COME HOME to say this is where they can focus. So, we try to do some risk adjustment to figure out which patients are more likely to end up in the hospital and focus efforts on those or some of us just do a generalized nursing-derived triage system that any patient who thinks they have any issue can get in and see us that day.

 
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