Cancer is not quite the ferocious killer that it used to be. Millions of Americans are living with cancer, not just dying from it. Reasons for the diminishing death rate include lower smoking rates, earlier detection of some cancers, and advances in treatment. But the treatment advances are coming at a high price. Treatment costs can easily exceed $100,000 a year. In response, CMS and commercial insurers are establishing alternative payment models, which, in theory, are supposed to slow down the stampeding costs while protecting, and perhaps even improving, the quality of cancer care. The Oncology Care Model (OCM) developed by CMS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is certainly the highest profile of these alternative payment models. In November, CMMI announced a successor program called the Oncology Care First (OCF) that for the most part builds on OCM and might push episode payment for cancer care more fully into the mainstream of healthcare.
Read the full article: The Oncology Care Model and Its Heir Apparent //