WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) commends Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA5) and Steve Israel (D-NY3) for introducing the Cancer Care Payment Reform Act of 2015 (H.R.1934), which establishes a national oncology medical home (OMH) demonstration project for payment reform under the Medicare program. The purpose of the bill is to change Medicare payment for cancer treatment in order to enhance quality and increase efficiency of cancer care delivery. COA will be asking community oncology practices to actively enlist the support of their Representatives to build co-sponsorship of this bipartisan legislation.
"H.R.1934 is a well-conceived, thoughtful payment reform built around the patient-centered medical home model, which is proving itself in oncology, " stated Bruce Gould, MD, president of COA and medical director of Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, Marietta, Ga. "Our practice is involved in several oncology medical home pilots, and we are measuring key aspects of quality cancer care while reducing the cost of overall treatment, especially in terms of keeping our patients out of the emergency room and the hospital."
Over the past three years, COA has been working with providers, patient advocates, payers, and others in the cancer community developing and implementing aspects of the patient-centered medical home in oncology. The two recent significant milestones reached include realizing over 36,000 OMH patient satisfaction surveys completed by community oncology practices and launching a pilot OMH accreditation program under the auspices of the Commission on Cancer.
"The McMorris Rodgers Israel bill really advances the ball on substantive payment reform in oncology," said Ted Okon, executive director of COA. "Private payers are way ahead of Medicare in piloting payment reform that is working in cancer care. The bill pulls together proven, field-tested concepts in payment reform and reflects the input of different perspectives within the cancer community. Given the new era of payment reform just ushered in by eliminating the SGR, this bill is a landmark start."
COA will be holding the 2015 Community Oncology Conference in Orlando, Florida on April 23-24. Oncology payment reform is a featured topic on the Conference schedule, which will now include a special last-minute session on the Cancer Care Payment Reform Act of 2015.
About Community Oncology Alliance (COA)
The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to preserving and protecting access to community cancer care, where almost 70% of Americans with cancer are treated. COA has led community cancer clinics in navigating an increasingly challenging environment to provide efficiencies, patient advocacy, and proactive solutions to Congress and policy makers. COA members have testified before both chambers of Congress, authored cancer care demonstration projects, and been instrumental in the passage of oral cancer drug parity legislation, among many other initiatives. More information can be found at www.CommunityOncology.org.
SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance