Since June 2016, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) has participated in the Oncology Care Model (OCM), a national innovative payment program designed to lower the costs of cancer care nationwide, while maintaining high-quality enhanced services to Medicare beneficiaries. Established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), a division of the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare (CMS), the OCM holds participating oncology practices to the highest national standards for managing cancer care for patients. Newly-released data by CMMI demonstrate that, during the most recent evaluation period, from March 2019 through April 2020, FCS consistently ranked among the top performing oncology practices in the nation, often leading all participating practices in specific assessment categories, such as reducing the number of unnecessary emergency room visits and unnecessary hospital admissions.
Florida Cancer Specialists’ CEO Nathan Walcker said, “FCS has had a consistent history of positive performance in the OCM, often outpacing the expected target predicted by CMMI. For example, in this most recent evaluation, the number of inpatient hospital admissions for FCS was 3.4% lower than other OCM practices, and the number of emergency room visits not leading to admission was 18.1% lower than other OCM practices in the same patient risk quartile, resulting in cost inflation significantly lower than Medicare’s predicted expectation. FCS has also provided an increasing quality of care for our patients, such as care coordination, and adherence to national treatment guidelines. Several key factors have contributed to our success, including the tremendous work and dedication of our Value-Based Care team.”
TR Strickland, FCS Director of Value-Based Care, added, “Participating in the OCM has driven FCS to make substantial strides in our strategic focus on value-based programs, while reducing the cost of cancer care through payment arrangements that include financial and performance accountability. We continue to evaluate opportunities for further reducing the cost of care, such as the use of generic drugs and biosimilars when appropriate and early involvement of comprehensive care including nutrition, behavioral health and palliative care, while leveraging comprehensive healthcare technology solutions to properly stratify risk and enhance patient engagement efforts across the continuum of care. Based on our solid track record, I anticipate even greater achievements in the future.”
FCS President & Managing Physician Lucio Gordan, MD, expressed confidence regarding the practice’s participation in the next-generation phase of the OCM, the Oncology Care First (OCF), which is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2022. “Based on the success FCS has experienced thus far as a top value-based provider in the US, we expect to continue setting a national benchmark for practices within the OCM because we have high physician engagement, cross-departmental team member involvement and alignment with our strategic priorities. At FCS, our guiding principle is to put the patient first in everything we do; we are laser-focused on providing world-class cancer care while reducing the overall cost of that care for our patients.”