The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) applauds the release by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the Oncology Care Model, a multi-payer program with the goal of providing cancer patients with higher quality, better coordinated care, at a lower cost. The Oncology Care Model builds on the current fee-for-service system for Medicare and provides incentives and performance-based payments for practice transformation that will improve the quality of care for patients.

“NCCS advocates for access to the best possible cancer care for all people with cancer, and we believe the Oncology Care Model offers cancer patients the hope of better, more coordinated care,” said NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso. “Cancer treatment is never easy, and the challenge of navigating a complex health care system is an additional burden for cancer patients to bear. Anyone who has experienced the health care system understands that we can do better for patients.”

NCCS believes that all cancer patients should receive a cancer care plan to guide their treatment and help coordinate their care. The Oncology Care Model requires practices to document a care plan that covers diagnosis, treatment goals, plan of treatment, quality of life considerations, care coordination, and psychosocial concerns. In addition, the Oncology Care Model requires patient navigation and 24/7 access to a clinician to help manage symptoms and side effects and avoid hospitalizations.

“We are pleased that the Oncology Care Model requires practices to document a care plan, which has been a priority for NCCS for many years. We will continue to advocate for the adoption of care planning as a standard practice for ALL individuals with cancer. ” said Fuld Nasso.

For a decade, NCCS has championed legislation that would establish a cancer care planning service as a reimbursable Medicare service. The Oncology Care Model adopts the principle that a cancer care plan is a critical first step towards well-coordinated cancer care. “We look forward to the re-introduction of the Planning Actively for Cancer Treatment (PACT) Act in the 114th Congress,” said Fuld Nasso. “Enactment of this legislation, developed and advanced by Representative Lois Capps, will improve access to cancer care planning and coordination for patients who receive care in the fee-for-service Medicare program.”

NCCS has been a leading voice in ensuring that the patient perspective is considered in efforts to reform payment for cancer care. We advocate for reforms that will improve the quality of care patients receive, including incentives for involving patients in decision-making and improving coordination of care.

We urge payers and providers to participate in the demonstration and leverage the opportunity to transform care for individuals with cancer. Practices and payers who wish to participate in the demonstration must submit a letter of intent by March 19, 2015 (for payers) or April 23 (for practices) and submit an application by June 18, 2015. And introductory webinar is open to the public on February 19, 2015 at noon EST. For more information, visit http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Oncology-Care/.

About the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship is a patient-centered, patient-focused organization advocating for access to the best possible cancer care for all people with cancer. We drive patient-centered policy change to make cancer care better for patients and their families. We believe the best possible cancer care means the right care, at the right time, for the right reason. Cancer care should reflect an individual’s needs, values, and preferences. Patients deserve to be partners in their care, and both patients and health care systems benefit when patients are engaged in their care. NCCS represents the interests of cancer patients to Congress, the federal government, payers, policymakers, and all others whose work affects people with cancer.

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