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J Oncol Pract. 2016 Oct;12(10):e924-e932.

Preparing for Value-Based Payment: A Stepwise Approach for Cancer Centers.

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Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, New Haven, CT; Brookings Institution; and Tuple Health, Washington, DC.


Most cancer centers are ill-equipped to pursue value-based payment (VBP) because of limited information on their population's cost of care. Herein, we outline the stepwise approach used by Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven in our pursuit of better value care. First, we addressed institutional barriers. A move toward value required demonstration to Yale-New Haven Health System leadership that OCM would improve patient care, fund new infrastructure, and provide the opportunity to gain experience with VBP without a major threat to the financial stability of the health system. We evaluated patterns of care and found that of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED), 88% were admitted, 62% arrived during the workday, and 50% could have been stabilized with urgent care services. Within 30 days of death, 27% were admitted to the intensive care unit, 38% presented to the ED, and 52% were admitted. To quantify total cost of care, we accessed the 5% Medicare Limited Data Set to map out total cost of care for patients receiving chemotherapy at Smilow Cancer Hospital. Costs increased as patients moved through 6-month episodes, used the ED (patients with two or more visits were twice as expensive as those with one or fewer), or died during an episode (costs were twice as high as episodes in which the patient lived). To determine strategic interventions to improve value, we targeted investments in urgent care to reduce ED utilization, care management to prevent hospital admissions, and referral to palliative care for clarification of goals of care and avoidance of costly futile treatment. Developing internal metrics to evaluate success will require monitoring our interventions by having utilization measures for each site of care and individual provider.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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