Aetna and RCCA Collaborate on an Oncology Medical Home

Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD

The partnership is expected to improve the quality of care and the overall care experience for Aetna members who seek care at Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) clinics in New Jersey and Maryland.

Continuous, proactive care for patients diagnosed with cancer, and physician incentives to ensure better health, affordability, and patient experience—these are the provisions of an oncology medical home model developed via a collaboration between Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) and Aetna.

Launched in September 2016, this medical home model will be available to all patients who receive care at RCCA’s clinics in New Jersey and Maryland. “This partnership will not only enable us to continue the delivery of high-quality care through reduced side effects, but will also facilitate cost-effective care based on the data Aetna will be sharing,” Michael Ruiz de Somocurcio, vice president of Payer and Provider Collaboration, RCCA, said in a statement.

This collaboration reflects the provisions of value-based payment models that are being evaluated by several clinical organizations and by health plans, including CMS, which has now launched its Oncology Care Model. Improving care delivery, avoiding unnecessary care, improved patient satisfaction, and lowering healthcare costs—these are a few of the primary outcomes that the new payment models will strive to accomplish.

“We understand that cancer treatment can be the hardest experience that our members will ever have to go through,” said Daniel Knecht, MD, MBA, Aetna’s head of strategy & planning and interim head of Oncology Solutions. "This oncology medical home with RCCA will help provide our members with high-quality care and an optimal patient experience."

The model has been built on the following 5 principles:

  • Focus on the whole person. An RCCA physician will be responsible for arranging a patient’s healthcare needs with other professionals, from preventive to end-of-life care.
  • Evidence-based personalized care. Treatment decisions will be based on existing clinical evidence while considering patient-specific factors.
  • Coordinated and integrated care. Aetna members will be provided with appropriate care as needed, across the healthcare system, with attention paid to linguistic and cultural needs.
  • Quality and safety. With emphasis on quality and safety, care will be based on evidence-based medicine that uses clinical decision support tools and accountability for quality improvement.
  • Improved access. The model is expected to improve access to care solutions via open scheduling, expanded hours, and improved means of communication between patients and their healthcare providers.

Aetna has been in the forefront of collaborating with cancer care clinics to develop such care models, including an oncology medical home partnership with the University of Chicago Medicine and also with the Moffitt Cancer Center.