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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2015
Association of Community Cancer Centers Commends New Oncology Care Model as a Step in the Right Direction
ROCKVILLE, Md.—Last week the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its much-anticipated Oncology Care Model (OCM), a new voluntary program for physician–led practices to test the bundling of payments for chemotherapy administration. The OCM is the second specialty care model to be announced at CMMI, and the first in oncology care.
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) believes this new initiative is a promising step in the right direction, and commends CMS for its commitment to testing new ways to provide better quality cancer care and improve the patient experience while constraining costs in Medicare. The Oncology Care Model is the product of many months of thoughtful dialogue with stakeholders like ACCC, and we appreciate the open approach CMMI took in constructing this program. We were pleased to see many of ACCC’s comments incorporated in the final version.
However, as with the launch of any new model, the details are critical—and many questions remain. While some stakeholder groups are speculating about eligibility, others are questioning whether the model goes far enough. ACCC is currently conducting an in-depth review of the OCM, and while the model has many positive elements, other areas need further clarification.
"New payment models require careful construction, and, importantly, CMS must ensure providers have the tools and resources they need to successfully participate," said ACCC Executive Director Christian Downs, JD, MHA. "At the end of the day, ACCC’s biggest priority is ensuring that the infrastructure of community oncology is supported."
ACCC looks forward to an ongoing dialogue with CMS in the months ahead, and to an open, iterative process to achieve meaningful, realistic payment reform.
ACCC’s upcoming Annual Meeting CANCERSCAPE will offer a special session by Ron Kline, MD, Medical Officer, CMMI, on New Payment and Delivery Models in Medicare. The meeting will be held March 16–18 in Arlington, Va. Learn more at www.accc-cancer.org/cancerscape.