Practices using the value-based care approach improved patient care while saving costs.
FORT MYERS, Fla., August 22, 2022 – The American Oncology Network, LLC (AON), a fast-growing network of community-based oncology practices, is excited to report its successes as an active participant in the Oncology Care Model (OCM). These results come a few weeks after the OCM’s discontinuation on June 30, 2022.
Nineteen AON community oncology clinics were part of the initial 200 practices across the nation that were approved to participate in the OCM after successfully meeting the criteria required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2018. These clinics were Medicare-enrolled providers whose practices 1) offered advanced patient services such as patient navigation functions, comprehensive care plans containing the 13 components of the Institute of Medicine Care Management Plan, around-the-clock access to a care manager or appropriate member of the care team, and nationally-recognized therapy treatments; 2) utilized data to improve care services and care quality; and 3) used electronic health records.
AON delivered the OCM through their in-house Care Management Program that is founded on the value-based care model and an integrated system of seamless communication, coordination and patient care for better health outcomes. Upon closure of the OCM, AON achieved significant improvements in overall patient care and cost expenditure for its practices operating under the OCM’s “two-sided risk” model.
AON’s OCM practices reported a 2.6% decrease in expenditures compared to other OCM practices and a 4.9% decrease in expenditures compared to all practices providing cancer care.
Participation in the OCM increased patient satisfaction, reduced emergency room visits leading to hospital admission by 14.69% and inpatient admissions by 7.8%, enhanced care equity, and improved efficiency in care coordination.
Additionally, AON reported a reduction in waste and unnecessary expenses as a result of its implementation of the tools and technologies designed to support effective decision-making. These consisted of an internal formulary navigator that assisted with value-based clinical pathway and regimen selection, the use of data analytics to determine process and cost savings opportunities, and the reliance on electronic medical records (EMR).
“We are excited to see these particular improvements in the areas of healthcare service and delivery,” said AON Chief Executive Officer Todd Schonherz. “It shows how the industry as a whole is making great strides to bring accessible and affordable care to all and is working toward the value-based care model that we, at AON, believe in.”
Other key achievements reported by AON practices included OCM quality scores exceeding 90% as well as:
- A 6.1% decrease in the costs of total care.
- A 28% decrease in AON facilities’ inpatient expenses.
- An increase in the use of biosimilar drugs and a decrease in patient prescription expenses.
“We have witnessed positive outcomes and experiences — for both our practices and patients — who operate under the OCM. The program allowed our physicians to deliver better care and services at decreased costs to our Medicare beneficiaries,” said Dr. Stephen “Fred” Divers, AON chief medical officer and medical oncologist at Genesis Cancer and Blood Institute. “Oncology care can be a financial burden for many, and the OCM provided an episode-based payment system that helped cap healthcare costs while maintaining the quality of care being delivered.”
The OCM is a program developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center) with the goal to decrease healthcare costs for Medicare-specific patients undergoing either chemotherapy or hormonal therapy as treatment. The program emphasized care quality over care quantity, encouraging physicians to adopt the patient-first mentality. An average cost savings of $297 less per six-month episode was recorded for all participating Medicare patients and providers.
“Being a part of the OCM has motivated us to continue delivering the same quality of care and follow the same processes despite the program’s end,” said Roberta Kafora, senior director of nursing, care management and value-based care at AON. “We are excited about the next step in our value-based care initiative, the Principal Care Management Program, that we officially launched on July 1, 2022.”
About American Oncology Network, LLC
The American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Launched in 2018, the rapidly expanding AON network represents 108 physicians and 86 nurse practitioners and physician assistants practicing across 16 states . The executive management team of AON encompasses more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most — providing the highest quality care for patients.
The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per-capita cost of cancer care.
AON also provides a unique model of physician-led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences are at the very pinnacle of cancer care today. Learn more at AONcology.com.
Contact for more information:
Caroline Hewitt, Vice President of Marketing
American Oncology Network, LLC