HACKENSACK, N.J., Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Regional Cancer Care Associates LLC (RCCA) is working with United Healthcare to advance a cancer care payment initiative that rewards physicians for focusing on best treatment practices, quality patient care and better health outcomes. The program pays participating medical oncologists more if they demonstrate superior clinical results and if they reduce the total cost of care.
The episode payment model shifts reimbursement away from the current “fee-for-service” approach that emphasizes volume of care delivered regardless of a patient’s health outcomes. The episode payment is based on the expected cost of a standard treatment regimen for a specific condition, as predetermined by the doctor. Similar payment models have been shown to enhance care coordination and improve health outcomes for patients, while also reducing overall costs.
“RCCA is a leader in delivering quality cancer care to our patients,” said Terrill Jordan, RCCA President and CEO. “This streamlined payment process, coupled with the oncologists sharing best practices and learning from one another, puts patients’ interests at the forefront of cancer treatment. It also results in significant cost savings, which advances efforts across the country to help rein in health care costs. We look forward to sharing the program with our patients.”
Lee N. Newcomer, M.D., United Healthcare’s senior vice president, oncology, said: “Our partnership with RCCA marks an important step toward expanded episode payment models and away from the traditional fee-for-service payments for oncology care. We look forward to working with RCCA and others to expand our efforts to identify best practices for treating cancer.”
A study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice demonstrated this program reduced overall cancer expenses by more than a third while improving quality outcomes. RCCA is among five oncology practices joining the program, which now has a total of more than 650 oncologists combined. In addition to RCCA’s 120 Oncologists in New Jersey, Maryland and Washington DC, the oncologists joining the program are from: Texas Oncology, with multiple locations in Texas; Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, with multiple locations in Colorado; OHC, Specialists in Cancer and Blood Disorders in Cincinnati; Cancer Specialists of North Florida with multiple locations in Florida; and Tulsa Cancer Institute in Tulsa, Okla. This marks the program’s second expansion, following the successful pilot that began with five oncology groups and a second pilot established at MD Anderson in December 2014.
UnitedHealthcare first implemented its episode payment program between October 2009 and December 2012 in a pilot study, which produced a significant reduction in hospitalizations and a 34% reduction in total costs while improving quality. Click here to read results of the study.
Regional Cancer Care Associates LLC (RCCA), one of the largest oncology physician networks in the United States, is transforming oncology care by ensuring that cancer patients have access to the highest-quality, most-comprehensive, cutting edge treatments in a compassionate and community-based setting. RCCA includes more than 100 cancer care specialists and is supported by 800 employees at 30 care delivery sites, providing care to more than 24,500 new patients annually and over 245,000 existing patients in New Jersey, Maryland and Washington DC. For more information visit: http://www.RCCA.com
Contact: Mary Lou Salvemini