Dr Stephen Schleicher: Culture, People, Analytics Contributed to OCM Success

Co-hosted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the most recent Institute for Value-Based Medicine® event took place on September 22, with a focus on improving cancer care delivery through innovation.

At our most recent Institute for Value-Based Medicine® event in New York City, Stephen M. Schleicher, MD, MBA, chief medical officer and medical oncologist, Tennessee Oncology, discusses the importance of a strong infrastructure comprising data analytics that can highlight care gaps for improvement, a culture primed for change and innovation, and invested teams that enabled some practices to see success with the Oncology Care Model (OCM).


Analyses of the OCM have found that overall, the model lost money, but some individual practices did well. What were the most important keys to success?

It’s interesting. Everybody talks about how the OCM failed, because it lost a lot of money across the country, but if you look at certain practices that really had the infrastructure and doubled down to do well, they did very successful in the OCM from a quality and cost standpoint, including Tennessee Oncology.

I think the framework was you’ve got to have the right culture for change and innovation, the right people, and the right teams, and then the analytics to know where the gaps are to improve quality and cost reduction and how to track that and hold people accountable, including the teams doing the work themselves. Those are kind of the 3 underlying themes that Tennessee Oncology doubled down on to succeed and that allowed us to do things like influence drug utilization, really change our care management strategy to keep people out of the emergency room in the hospital, really focus on palliative care, end-of-life care, and things like that.

But with the right culture, the right people, and the right analytics that was all possible.

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