The Enhancing Oncology Model (EOM) aims to drive transformation and improve care coordination in oncology care by preserving and enhancing the quality of care furnished to beneficiaries undergoing treatment for cancer while reducing program spending under Medicare fee-for-service. Under EOM, participating oncology practices will take on financial and performance accountability for episodes of care surrounding systemic chemotherapy administration to patients with common cancer types. EOM is a 5-year voluntary model, beginning on July 1, 2023, that aims to improve quality and reduce costs through payment incentives and required participant redesign activities. CMS designed EOM to test how to improve health care providers’ ability to deliver care centered around patients, consider patients’ unique needs, and deliver cancer care in a way that will generate the best possible patient outcomes.
EOM supports President Biden’s Unity Agenda and Cancer Moonshot initiative to improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer. EOM aligns with the Cancer Moonshot pillars and priorities of supporting patients, caregivers, and survivors, learning from all patients, targeting the right treatments for the right patients, and addressing inequities.
CMS announced the Oncology Care Model (OCM) in February of 2015, and OCM subsequently launched on July 1, 2016, with an end date of June 30, 2022. In the last six years, OCM incentivized practitioners to improve the way in which they provide cancer care to focus on the patient, improve or maintain quality, and avoid unnecessary costs. Similar to OCM, EOM will focus on value-based, patient-centered care for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy based on 6-month episodes of care, with a specific focus on health equity. EOM builds on lessons learned from OCM and feedback from the oncology community, including OCM participants, patient advocacy groups, oncology professional associations, and others to further advance the journey in value-based care in oncology.
The central goal of EOM is to better support patients and improve their care experience, advancing a key goal of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. You will not be responsible for paying for any portion of the new EOM payment for participants’ delivery of enhanced, patient-focused services. Medicare will cover the full amount of this payment.
As a patient whose health care providers are participating in EOM, you may communicate better with your oncologist and care team in between appointments and be able to more easily reach them with questions. You may also expect to receive enhanced, patient-focused services, such as:
24/7 access to an appropriate clinician with real-time access to your medical records;
Patient navigation services;
A detailed care plan that involves your engagement and preferences on discussions surrounding prognosis, treatment options, symptom management, quality of life, and psychosocial health needs, among other topics;
Screening for health-related social needs (HRSNs); (needs related to food, transportation, housing, etc.);
Questions regarding your overall cancer care experience and health outcomes, such as those related to your symptoms, physical functioning, behavioral health, and HRSNs.
Patients retain their freedom to choose any provider or supplier, and may also choose for their data not to be shared with EOM participants. If a patient or their caregiver feels care has been compromised or has concerns about EOM, the Innovation Center has a model liaison that is a part of the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman team in the Office of Hearings and Inquiries. The model liaison can be reached through 1-800-MEDICARE or they may contact their Quality Improvement Organization (QIO).
The goals of EOM are to:
Put the patient at the center of a care team that provides equitable, high-value, evidence-based care;
Build on OCM lessons learned and continue the value-based journey in oncology, which is a historically high-cost area of Medicare spending;
Increase engagement of patients, oncologists, and other payers (e.g., state Medicaid agencies, commercial payers) in value-based care and quality improvement; and,
Observe improved care quality, health equity, and health outcomes as well as achieve savings over the course of the model test.
To achieve these aims, EOM employs the following design elements:
Comprehensive, coordinated cancer care;
Continuous improvement driven by data;
Payment incentives including a Monthly Enhanced Oncology Services (MEOS) payment, and a performance-based payment (PBP) or a performance-based recoupment (PBR);
An aligned multi-payer structure; and
Focused efforts to identify and address health disparities.
EOM participants assume accountability for their patients’ health care quality and for their spending on care over time. EOM gives participants opportunities to redesign care and improve the quality of care given to beneficiaries receiving systemic chemotherapy for seven cancer types: breast cancer, chronic leukemia, small intestine/colorectal cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and prostate cancer.
Under EOM, participants are incentivized to consider the whole patient and engage with them proactively, during and between appointments. EOM participants are required to implement participant redesign activities, including 24/7 access to care, patient navigation, care planning, use of evidence-based guidelines, use of electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePROs), screening for health-related social needs, use of data for quality improvement, and use of certified electronic health record technology. As part of the use of data for quality improvement, participants will submit health equity plans to CMS, where EOM participants will detail their evidence-based strategies to mitigate health disparities identified within their beneficiary populations.
EOM implements a two-part payment structure for EOM participants to incentivize the provision of Enhanced Services while creating incentives to reduce avoidable costs and utilization and improve care quality. EOM participants will be responsible for the total cost of care during a 6-month episode. Depending on total episode expenditures and quality performance, EOM participants have the potential to earn a performance-based payment (PBP) or owe CMS a performance-based recoupment (PBR). PBP and PBR amounts will be adjusted based on actual quality performance. EOM participants will also have the option to bill a Monthly Enhanced Oncology Services (MEOS) payment per beneficiary per month for the provision of Enhanced Services to EOM beneficiaries during each 6-month episode. EOM includes an additional MEOS payment for dually eligible beneficiaries, acknowledging the greater resources that may be needed to care for complex and underserved communities.
EOM webpage: https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/enhancing-oncology-model
Fact sheet: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/enhancing-oncology-model
Press release: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/06/27/biden-administration-announces-new-model-to-improve-cancer-care-for-medicare-patients.html