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Dr Kavita Patel Outlines How Oncology Is Ripe for Delivery Reform

Oncology, like primary care, is ripe for delivery reform, but it has remained stuck in a fee-for-service mindset, said Kavita Patel, MD, fellow in economic studies and managing director at Brookings Institution.


Oncology, like primary care, is ripe for delivery reform, but it has remained stuck in a fee-for-service mindset, said Kavita Patel, MD, fellow in economic studies and managing director at Brookings Institution.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What is it about oncology that makes it ripe for payment and delivery reform, and why has it remained a holdout in the move away from fee-for-service?

I think oncology is a great model for delivery reforms because of similarities to primary care. Most oncologists take care of everything with their patients. So you don’t necessarily do just oncology. Most oncologists know everything that’s happening, including problems with their heart, problems with other systems and other issues. So in that respect, it’s ripe for delivery system reform much has primary care has been.

However, I actually think that the reason why it’s still stuck in a fee-for-service mindset is because of the way we have been paying not only the services in oncology, but for the drugs as well. As long as we’re still doing Part B drugs, and as long many of the drugs are in the Part B physicians system, we’re still seeing a little bit more of the same.

I do think it’s shifting though. I do. I think we’re seeing more insurers, including the federal government, look at different models that are not just fee-for-service based.

 
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