David Ortiz Explains How OCM Is Changing Cancer Care Delivery

The Oncology Care Model (OCM) is pushing cancer centers and cancer programs to make the changes they knew were needed to improve care delivery and patient experiences, said David Ortiz, OCM program director at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care.

With all the changes being made to practices under the OCM, are there any specific things where you've seen the biggest return on investment?
I think it’s given us justification to reamplify an old argument. So, cancer centers and cancer programs need to have an urgent arm or an urgent care arm. Something to mediate those patients that are in turmoil or in crisis or microcrisis. They’re just starting chemotherapy and they’re feeling crappy. What do you do?

There needs to be that outlet. Someone that can answer those questions and tell them, “You know what, it’s perfectly normal. This is fine.” Or “that’s out of the ordinary, out of the range. I think you should come see me now.” OCM has given us the opportunity to re-engage and thankfully, we’re moving in that direction.

Do you see OCM as being the future of cancer care or is it just a step onto another model?
I think OCM in the microcosm is exactly what we should look to expect in every other future iteration. I think it expands to other payers. We’re looking to do that with organizations that have had success doing that and we want to emulate that.

I think that we are clearly finding that there is a benefit for the patient, there is clearly a benefit to the organization because we’re keeping the patient connected to the care. They’re more adherent, they’re more able to escalate an issue and not just drown by themselves. I think doctors also know that if there is someone who needs help there is a navigator who should be in place to try to help that individual. So, there’s mechanisms on both ends—for the clinicians and for the patients. So, I think it is the future.
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