|ASCO volunteer Barbara McAneny, MD, testifies before the Senate Finance Committee
ASCO participated in a Senate Finance Committee roundtable
on reforming Medicare’s payment fee-for-service model on July 11. In testimony before the committee
, ASCO representative Barbara McAneny, MD, stressed the importance of integrating a strong cancer-focused quality system into all payment models, allowing physicians to lead any move to a new model of care delivery and payment, and of testing and transitioning any new payment system to fully understand any implications on practice and patients.
ASCO urged Congress to leverage ASCO’s existing Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) to meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ national quality reporting system in oncology. ASCO’s testimony suggests using QOPI as a central program to replace or streamline most of CMS’ existing reporting requirements, which has the potential to save significant resources, and provide much more granular and meaningful information beyond what can be achieved with the current CMS-directed programs.
“ASCO’s quality improvement registry, QOPI, offers providers a way to judge performance against their peers and against established quality benchmarks,” Dr. McAneny said. “QOPI is constantly evolving; it can evolve with changing scientific evidence and clinical guidelines, adapt to the needs of insurers, and be embedded within any payment system—including Medicare.”
ASCO also emphasized that oncologists are integral to the development and adoption of any new model of payment. Dr. McAneny emphasized that “the aging of the Medicare population and the complexity of cancer represent unique challenges to the health care system, challenges that are best faced by the people who treat cancer.” She noted that oncologists will be more likely to embrace a physician-developed program.
ASCO presented promising new care delivery models that should be explored further as part of payment reform efforts but emphasized that these models must be tested before they are rolled out nationally. The patient-centered medical home, along with case management fees and payment bundling options are all potential new models that ASCO encourages CMS to test.
“Preserving continued access to care must be a guiding principle for any transformation of the payment system and can only be achieved through careful testing and measured transitions. Cancer care occurs across a wide range of practice settings and communities. We must take the time to understand how proposed policies affect all settings and the often vulnerable populations they serve,” Dr. McAneny concluded.
Sen. Jon Kyle (R-Az.) listens to physician perspectives
on Medicare payment reform