ASCO recently announced that nine outpatient oncology group practices have achieved certification through the new ASCO Patient-Centered Cancer Care Certification pilot based on their adherence to oncology medical home (OMH) standards, a single set of comprehensive, expert-backed standards for patient-centered care delivery, published by ASCO and the Community Oncology Alliance (COA). The pilot includes 88 cancer care sites and nearly 500 oncologists from 12 participating practice groups and health systems in a variety of settings. Anthem and Cigna will share hospital utilization, drug utilization, and other payer data for some participating practices to help inform the impact of the pilot on cost and outcomes.
The ASCO Certification Program awarded certification to the following first group of participants:
“This first round of certifications is a major milestone for the success of this pilot, as it demonstrates this new model for patient-centered cancer care delivery is achievable for all oncology practices, regardless of their
Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO
practice setting,” said Chair of the Board of the Association for Clinical Oncology Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO. “We commend all of the certified practices for their achievement and dedication to transforming their practice. By doing the work to meet these standards and achieve certification, these practices are better equipped to succeed in a value-based system and deliver high-quality, equitable, evidence-based care for every single patient.”
Single Set of Standards Benefits Patients, Practices, and Payers
Currently, most payers in the United States use their own set of specific measures that practices must adopt to demonstrate delivery of high-quality cancer care. Adhering to all of these differing measures is extremely time-consuming, duplicative, and inefficient yet still leaves practices and patients without a standard objective measurement for high-quality cancer care.
By using one single set of standards, the ASCO Patient-Centered Cancer Care Certification, Featuring the ASCO and COA Oncology Medical Home, aims to empower patients by providing an objective measurement for high-quality cancer care, reducing administrative burden for practices, and demonstrating to payers that meeting evidence-backed measurement of high-quality cancer care can result in efficiencies and cost savings.
The ASCO-COA Oncology Medical Home Standards focus on seven different domains of cancer care: patient engagement; availability and access to care; evidence-based medicine; equitable and comprehensive team-based care; quality improvement; goals of care, palliative, and end-of-life care discussions; and chemotherapy safety.
“This pilot shows our hypothesis was correct: When the cancer care team is using a single set of standards, practice transformation and improving care quality get easier,” said Bo Gamble, COA Director of Quality and Value. “Pilot practices were able to share instantly usable data and advice with each other due to the universal standards, and ASCO and COA surveyors were able to identify key improvement areas with ease. We’re confident that practices can use these standards to improve cancer care no matter their location or structure. Employers and insurers can look at these standards for clear evidence of improvements, making it easy to find the best care provider for their needs.”
The cancer care delivery requirements of the recently announced Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Enhancing Oncology Model (EOM) have many similarities with -ASCO-COA Oncology Medical Home Standards and this certification pilot. Practices achieving ASCO Patient-Centered Cancer Care Certification will be well positioned to perform in the EOM.
Committing to a Culture of Quality Improvement
Beginning in July 2021, participating practices prepared for surveyors from ASCO and COA to conduct site visits to assess how each participating practice performed relative to each OMH standard of care. Site visits included staff interviews, medical record review, validation of policy/procedures and workflows related to the standards, and review of quality improvement initiatives with data findings for continual improvement. Practices then received site survey results with an action plan providing guidance on how to make changes to improve performance. Surveyors work with participating practices to review quality improvement initiatives, patient satisfaction surveys, and oncology clinical pathways utilization, as well as data on quality measures, such as advance care planning, depression screening, chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life, and pain assessment.
With guidance from surveyors, participating practices undertook intensive practice transformation activities to meet the ASCO-COA Oncology Home Standards. Activities included the development of new and/or improved workflows, staff education and training on the new initiatives, and compliance data monitoring to demonstrate their success at meeting the standards, among other transformation activities. To achieve certification, practices needed to meet a total of 17 care delivery standards and 22 chemotherapy safety standards, for a total of 39 standards.
The pilot is slated to end in the summer of 2023. Over the next year, certified practices will continue to work on quality assessment and improvement activities to maintain their certification. Certified practices will meet routinely with ASCO, which will evaluate continued compliance with standards and measure requirements. ASCO will also continue to monitor and engage with the certified practices to identify additional learnings to strengthen the program.
Other oncology practices may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about the pilot and future patient-centered care initiatives.
© 2022. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.