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This Week in Managed Care: October 28, 2016
October 28, 2016

ASCO's Collaboration Will Expand the Reach of COME HOME for Oncology Patients

Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has announced that it is collaborating with Innovative Oncology Business Solutions, Inc, on ASCO COME HOME.
The COME HOME program, developed at the New Mexico Cancer Center (NMCC), is a patient-centered medical home program that provides patients extended access to care at their cancer clinic, with the hope of keeping them out of the hospital and emergency department (ED). The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has now announced that it is collaborating with Innovative Oncology Business Solutions, Inc, (IOBS)—a company founded by NMCC’s CEO, Barbara McAneny, MD)—on ASCO COME HOME.

ASCO COME HOME can support physician practices as they transition from volume-based to value-based care by structuring reimbursement around all the services that patients with cancer need. Additionally, the program will also guide physicians with their transition to meet the requirements of the Quality Payment Program, authorized by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which was recently finalized by CMS. Ultimately, the program has been built for providers to identify and manage symptoms in real time; improve access to providers through same-day appointments and extended night and weekend hours; and provide disease management guidance to improve treatment decision making, symptom recognition and assistance with patients’ self-care, pain management, and caregiver support.

ASCO has licensed the COME HOME name from IOBS, as well as the program’s readiness assessment and implementation tools.

Describing the support that the COME HOME program would provide for oncology practices in this changing healthcare environment, ASCO’s vice president of Clinical Affairs, Stephen S. Grubbs, MD, told The American Journal of Managed Care in an e-mail, “Starting January 1, practices that are interested in advanced alternate payment model participation can use ASCO COME HOME’s practice assessment tools to gauge their readiness for the transition to an APM. ASCO COME HOME also has implementation tools for practices that are ready begin the transition.”

 “COME HOME has increased patient satisfaction and improved outcomes by improving care delivery systems and reimbursing practices in a way that accounts for the wide range of services that patients with cancer need,” said ASCO CEO Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, in a statement. He added that ASCO intends to spread this program to practices across the country throughout the country, to improve the quality of cancer care while lowering associated costs.

The COME HOME program has seen considerable success with its early implementation in 7 practices, which saw a reduction in 30-day hospital readmission rates (down 11.7%), ED visits (down 6.6%), inpatient hospital admissions (down 12.5%), and the overall cost of care (down 7.2%). Additionally, the patient satisfaction rate was high across the board, averaging from 91.3 to 98.1%. 

Speaking to the collaboration, McAneny said in a statement, “For more than a decade, ASCO has been a thought leader in the shift away from the broken fee-for-service physician reimbursement system. Combining ASCO’s influence with the real-world data and experience of the COME HOME program is a very natural and exciting next step for both organizations.” 

Data collection, Grubbs said, will begin on day 1 of the program, which is January 1, 2017, but the timing of tangible results will vary from practice to practice. But he’s optimistic of good outcomes based on results from the early COME HOME practices “that have shown the model’s effectiveness at improving health outcomes, enhancing patient care experiences, and positioning practices for success in an evolving healthcare delivery environment.” 

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