Reform in Cancer Care Delivery

Some of the most significant changes in healthcare reform are being led by oncologists, especially as innovation and team-based collaboration are increasingly becoming the standard in cancer care delivery.

Some of the most significant changes in healthcare reform are being led by oncologists, especially as innovation and team-based collaboration are increasingly becoming the standard in cancer care delivery.

“If you look at oncology care, I think some of the most important changes in provider payment reform are actually being led in cancer care,” said Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “This is a place to look for what could be a model for reforms in payments that would affect other parts of our healthcare system, other specialties.”

Dr McClellan is involved in a project at the Institution which is reviewing payment reform activities in conjunction with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. “We’re finding a lot of activity related to cancer,” he said.

Dr McClellan, who also served as the administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from 2004 to 2005, said oncologists have adopted several models of care to fit their needs. Those models include clinical pathways, the patient-centered medical oncology home, bundled payments, and the oncology accountable care organization.

He added that doing all this “requires a very strong...evidence infrastructure, both on the quality of care that’s being provided and in terms of providing data to the patients and physicians and other providers involved in delivering care so they can find ways to improve on performance and understand where they are.” However, such an infrastructure has yet to be developed.

Lee Newcomer, MD, MHA, senior vice president at UnitedHealthcare, also said, “We have to think about how do we become more efficient both in the research arena and in delivery of care.”

Around the Web

Oncologists Lead on Reform, Ex CMS Head Says [Med Page Today]