As baby boomers continue to age, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) plan to get ahead of a predicted new wave of cancer patients through the Oncology Care Model—a nascent program in which participating providers will be expected to provide enhanced services such as care coordination, round-the-clock access, as well as more comprehensive patient support resources.
Patrick Conway, M.D., chief medical officer and principal deputy administrator of CMS, underscored the importance care coordination will have in controlling costs while also improving outcomes as the number of cancer patients rises:
It’s clear that oncology physicians recognize the importance of this new performance-based, episode-based payment approach to cancer care, As a practicing physician and son of a Medicare beneficiary who died from cancer, I know the importance of well-coordinated care focused on the patient’s needs.
The program will be funded through monthly payments per beneficiary, and providers can see additional value-based payments. By offering such incentives, CMS aims to enhance care coordination across the oncology care continuum and to make sure patients only receive the treatment they require.