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Mike Koroscik Discusses Population Health Reimbursement Models and Increased Lung Cancer Screening


Mike Koroscik, MBA, MHA, vice president of oncology, Allina Health and the Allina Health Cancer Institute, discusses the successes and challenges of a population health reimbursement model and gives advice for other health organizations considering a similar partnership within their practices.

Oncology exemplifies the need for population health reimbursement models, with primary care intersections and addressing inequalities, says Mike Koroscik, MBA, MHA, vice president of oncology, Allina Health and the Allina Health Cancer Institute.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.


What do you believe are critical success factors in establishing a population health reimbursement model within health care organizations, and what advice do you have for those considering such a partnership to drive value-based care in oncology?

As we move from volume to value and even population health imperatives, oncology truly exemplifies where we need to go. With its primary care intersections, the need for screening, addressing inequalities; also with within that, population health strategy and everything we are working around. That has to be our mantra.

For years, oncology programs have had clinical risk stratification programs, if it was around cardio-oncology, onco-rehab, and other pieces. Now it's the time to get reimbursed for that. That's helped create healthier outcomes. And really, our focus now is on that quintuplet aim of population health; minimizing care variation; addressing the rising cost and total cost of care; to driving home those clinical risk stratification programs; and addressing all aspects of the oncology continuum of care from screening all the way through survivorship in end-of-life aspects, too. Now is the time for systems to address payers and large employers and talk about everything we're doing to drive value and change our reimbursement mechanisms.

Can you share some outreach and engagement strategies used within health care organizations that proved successful in expanding lung and other cancer screening programs? How can practices ensure that underserved populations have access to these screenings?

COVID-19 and some of the strife that happened in America; for me, it was in the home of George Floyd. So, not only during COVID-19, but it also exposed wide-open the equity issues we have in cancer care.

And so, we were driven not only during COVID-19 to get our screenings way above where they were and advance that because that is also an imperative under population health design. For example, lung cancer; it is our deadliest, but most expensive cancer type. And unfortunately, the statistics now is we catch it way too late.

We doubled down on early lung cancer screening or lung nodule screening with primary care intervention, but also heavy outreach to all those communities that were underserved. If it's in Minneapolis, to our Somali population, to Native American populations also; we want to make sure that our outreach efforts are for everyone. We also promoted to the general population in billboards. We came together with other health systems to promote lung screening, making sure that we're all sharing the updated guidelines that came out in 2022. Lung cancer I think exemplifies the past and where we need to go with screening as a primary care directive to improve oncology and our population health imperatives.

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