NCQA Launches Oncology Medical Home Recognition Program

New program recognizes oncology practices that use the patient-centered medical home model

May 18, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) launched a new Oncology Medical Home Recognition program, providing a framework for oncology practices to deliver care using the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model.

The oncology medical home improves the relationship between a patient and their care team, leading to higher quality care, lower costs and happier patients.

Oncology practices have a unique relationship with patients: They provide the principal long-term care of patients in active cancer treatment, often taking on the role of primary care providers.

Oncology Medical Home Recognition evolved from NCQA’s Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) Recognition program, which helps facilitate team-based care by recognizing specialists who use the PCMH model to improve collaboration and health care delivery.

The Oncology Medical Home is built off the PCSP standards—which emphasize team-based care, care coordination, care management and population health—and include oncology-specific elements designed to improve the care of patients with cancer.

“We could not be more proud to launch this new recognition for Oncology Medical Homes,” says Margaret E. O’Kane, President NCQA. “We collaborated with oncologists to develop this recognition that demonstrates support for patients in all aspects of care—from treatment and managing symptoms to ancillary services, and even financial counseling— as these are keys to providing the best, comprehensive care possible.”

“NCQA certification as an Oncology Medical Home is a great way to demonstrate to the country that a community private practice of oncology can deliver high quality lower cost health care at a time when our nation desperately needs some good news in health care,” says Barbara L. McAneny MD, CEO, New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants, Ltd. “We can do it by improving care, not rationing, avoiding hospitalizations and providing alternative ways to keep patients healthier and at home.”

Specialty (PCSP) practice standards assess:

  • Tracking and coordinating referrals.
  • Providing access and communication.
  • Identifying and coordinating patient populations.
  • Planning and managing care.
  • Tracking and coordinating care.
  • Measuring and improving performance.

Additionally, Oncology-specific elements cover:

  • Quality improvement.
  • Oncology practice responsibilities.
  • Comprehensive health assessment.
  • Evidence-based pathways.
  • Coordinating patient-centered support during treatment.

“The results of our pursuit of practice transformation yielded benefits across the board for all stakeholders,” says Kashyap Patel, MD, CEO, Carolina Blood and Cancer Care, an NCQA PCSP Recognized practice. “Patients experienced the benefits of receiving fully patient-centric care, greater care coordination and communication, a much better-established relationship with their physicians, and real-time and on-demand access to care. Our physicians simultaneously experienced the benefits of standardization of the science of medicine, practice revenue stabilization, improved efficiency, and standardized data compilation. Our payers benefited from a reduction in cancer spending, increased patient engagement, care appropriate to patient condition, and a focus on reducing avoidable complications.”

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