- The experience of Texas Oncology in CMS’s Oncology Care Model shows how provider organizations can use change management processes to lay the foundation for success in new care delivery models.
- The organization established a core team to lead the implementation of value-based payment models.
- The core team employed an internal communications strategy to make optimal use of data analytics to better coordinate care and integrate updated processes into provider workflows.
After examining opportunities to enhance care and reduce variation, Texas Oncology entered Medicare’s Oncology Care Model (OCM) in 2016. Participants must demonstrate improvement in care for Medicare beneficiaries throughout six-month episodes that start with chemotherapy treatment. The program requires the use of data to inform decisions as part of incentives for providers to enhance care quality.
In its fourth year of participation, Texas Oncology has seen improvements in areas such as patient navigation and unnecessary hospitalizations. The organization attributes its success to tactics ranging from the strategic use of staff resources to investments in technology to restructured communications.
Key considerations for implementation
At Texas Oncology, 685 providers — 527 physicians and 158 advance practice providers — are participating in the OCM. To engage staff resources, the organization implemented a value-based care team, developed a communications strategy and invested in technology.
A core team was organized to facilitate implementation of value-based care models. The following roles are represented:
- Physician lead
- Operations lead
- Director of nursing
- Director of social work
- Project manager
- Data coordinator
- Administrative assistant
The organization mostly repurposed or expanded the roles of staff already employed to these positions, allowing them to focus on the value-based care program, and established the role of data coordinator. Creation of this cross-functional team has aided the development of processes and procedures in areas such as data collection, metrics review and provider engagement.
“There’s no way we could achieve success in the program without this team helping ensure we’re managing the project well,” said Lalan Wilfong, MD, vice president of quality programs and value-based care at Texas Oncology, who serves as physician lead for the core team.