Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

New Provider/Payer Relationship Incentivizes Better, More Comprehensive Care for Southern California Cancer Patients

October 24, 2011

LOS ANGELES and THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Anthem Blue Cross and Wilshire Oncology Medical Group announced the launch of a new pilot program that helps serve California cancer patients better through a patient-centered approach.

Improving on the current, sometimes fragmented system of care, this new model provides patients with a single point of contact and provides payments to clinicians for spending time with patients and their families, helping them make fully informed choices for every aspect of their care from prevention to advanced disease, thus improving personalized care. This innovative approach also strives to keep patients out of the hospital and emergency room by promoting more coordinated clinic and after hours care, a major request of patients. Finally, it strives to lower costs and improve outcomes by rewarding physicians for compliance with evidence-based medicine guidelines.

Dubbed the Medical Oncology Home Pilot, the program is aligned with the goals of the Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama in March 2010 and incentivizes physicians to provide high-quality, cost-effective cancer therapy to achieve better outcomes for patients.

“This new program encourages maximum support of patients throughout their treatments including attention to patients between physician visits to minimize side effects and symptoms while they receive high-quality, comprehensive cancer therapies,” said Linda Bosserman, M.D., F.A.C.P., president of Wilshire Oncology Medical Group and a pioneer in reducing costs and improving care through evidence-based medicine. “This support includes patient access to state-of-the-art clinical trials and coordination of patient care between multiple specialists and support services as well as the patient’s primary care physician.”

The Wilshire Oncology Medical Group is a pioneer in community-based cancer care with six treatment centers in the greater Los Angeles area and Inland Empire. The practice is also an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, which is supported by McKesson Specialty Health and one of the nation’s largest networks of community-based oncology physicians dedicated to advancing cancer care in America.

The pilot program provides additional reimbursement for clinicians, nurse symptom management support, advance care planning and end of life support as well as collaboration with urgent care centers. All are designed to help cancer patients stay healthy, on treatment and out of the emergency room. The pilot gives patients a single point of contact to fully navigate their cancer care. The pilot program also uses key metrics and nationally recognized quality measures including evidence-based medicine, patient therapy and supportive care monitoring as well as palliative and hospice care – all to evaluate the provision of accountable care.

“These metrics could translate to a more useful report card to help patients choose providers based on quality of care rather relying on today’s billboard advertising and word of mouth,” said Dr. Bosserman.

“We’re excited about the program’s potential to improve the quality of life and accountability for our members battling cancer. By having quality physicians use the right quality indicators, we believe our members will receive quality treatment for their particular diagnosis,” said Jeff Kamil, M.D., vice president and senior medical director for Anthem Blue Cross. “We have worked with Wilshire Oncology Medical Group to develop this pilot because of its in-practice methodologies and dedication to evidence-based care with transparent reporting. We are also developing an ongoing relationship with Wilshire Oncology Medical Group to continuously improve the delivery of cancer care for Anthem Blue Cross members.”

“Quality cancer care and quality of life are synonymous,” said Roy Beveridge, M.D., chief medical officer, The US Oncology Network, McKesson Specialty Health. “Working with payers to improve physician incentives provides an opportunity to improve the way cancer patients are cared for by addressing the key drivers in high-quality cancer care, such as using treatments proven to have the best outcomes with the least side effects, managing adverse side effects and symptoms, ensuring access to clinical trials and involving patients and families early and often in patients’ long-term care decisions.”

The Medical Oncology Home Pilot is available now to Anthem Blue Cross Prudent Buyer Members with cancer residing in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside County areas through the Wilshire Oncology Medical Group and its affiliated clinicians. For more information, visit www.anthem.com.

About Anthem Blue Cross of California

Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

About Wilshire Oncology Medical Group

Wilshire Oncology Medical Group has six treatment centers dedicated exclusively to the cancer patient. Since its founding in 1957, its physicians, treatment nurses and support staff have pioneered community-based cancer care by working with patients, primary physicians, hospitals and families to select and deliver quality treatment for each patient. Wilshire Oncology Medical Group also maintains relationships with other oncologists and sub-specialists should it become necessary to refer patients for other opinions. For more information, visit www.womgi.com.

Wilshire Oncology Medical Group is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks focused on advancing cancer care in America. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, Wilshire Oncology Medical Group is united with more than 1,000 physicians and 10,000 cancer professionals nationwide. Wilshire Oncology Medical Group participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has helped to develop 43 FDA approved cancer therapies. For more information, visit www.usoncology.com.

SOURCE Wilshire Oncology Medical Group

Source: PR Newswire