Innovative Oncology Care Models Improve End-Of-Life Quality Reduce Utilization And Spending
Author: Erin Murphy Colligan, Erin Ewald, Sarah Ruiz, Michelle Spafford, Caitlin Cross-Barnet, Shriram Parashuram
Three models that received Health Care Innovation Awards from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) aimed to reduce the cost and use of health care services and improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries with cancer. Each emphasized a different principle: the oncology medical home, patient navigation, or palliative care. Comparing participants in each model who died during the study period to matched comparators, we found that the oncology medical home and patient navigation models were associated with decreased costs in the last ninety days of life ($3,346 and $5,824 per person, respectively) and fewer hospitalizations in the last thirty days of life (fifty-seven and forty per 1,000 people, respectively). The patient navigation model was also associated with fewer emergency department visits in the last thirty days of life and increased hospice enrollment in the last two weeks of life. These promising results can inform new initiatives for cancer patients, such as the CMS Oncology Care Model.