Erich Mounce: How Payment Models Are Changing the Way Oncologists Practice

Erich Mounce, chief operating officer, OneOncology, discusses how payment models like the Oncology Care Model are changing the way oncologists practice, as well as what practices should prioritize when looking to participate in a payment model.

How are payment models, such as the Oncology Care Model, changing the way community oncologists practice?
I think for the better. From my perspective, that standardization of payment models is allowing us to drive the same kind of care based on evidence. For example, it send to be that medical oncologists could only use 1 or 2 drugs in their tool chest. Not all of those drugs would work on those cancers, but they’d use them anyway because there was a 50/50 chance or a 60/40 chance that they would work. Now, with targeted medicine, that allows us to target the right drugs and then allows us to really work on value-based care, Oncology Care Model standardization to use a care model that processes through with the patient’s care.

It’s not just a regimen. For us at OneOncology, a care pathway or a care model that goes within a bundled payment or Oncology Payment Model is also really soup to nuts. It is, once you’re diagnosed, when do you see a genetic counselor? When do you see the surgeon? When do you get the CT [computerized tomography] scan? When do you get the PET [positron emission tomography] scan? When do you have surgery? When do you have chemo? It’s not just what drugs are used, and for me, that’s really a challenging step that gives a lot of opportunity to be successful with patient care in the future.

When looking to participate in a payment model, what should practices prioritize?
There’s lots of variations out there. The most important thing is to find a model that’s passionate about patient care and about the delivery of that care, not just commoditizing drug prices or supply prices. It’s really about making sure you have somebody that believes the same way that a physician did when they went to school and now that they’re a medical oncologist about how to treat the patient right and everything else follows that.
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