ASCO Provides Input on CMMI's

ASCO has been working in parallel with various other institutions to generate a patient-centered oncology payment reform model.

ASCO recently submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI)—a component of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—regarding the center’s proposed cancer care payment and service delivery model, Preliminary Design for an Oncology Focused Model (OCM). ASCO offered specific recommendations for the proposed model and highlighted areas where clarification or refinement may be needed.

The CMMI model relies on adjustments to the current fee for service payment system, attempting to control costs while maintaining quality of care. In its September 18, 2014, letter, ASCO supported the inclusion of OCM among the payment reform models that will be tested to determine new approaches to payment for oncology care; however, ASCO also urged the center to test models that include more fundamental reform that moves away from fee for service—a “change many oncology practices believe is vital to sustaining a robust cancer care delivery system.”

ASCO offered recommendations on several aspects of OCM, such as quality measurement and improvement, risk adjustment, emergency department visits and hospitalizations, clinical trials, and mortality rates as a measure of performance. The society further stressed that in order to be meaningful, the incentives embedded in OCM must come from decisions that are under the control of the oncology practice, that performance measures must be robust and applicable to the patient population, and that the overall system must reflect the variability in labor and resources required to treat patients with cancer.

ASCO's press release: