News impacting community cancer care
Liz Fowler Site Visit Photo
October 3, 2023

Our Commitment to High-Quality and Cost-Effective Cancer Care through EOM

Starting July 1, 2023, 12 oncology practices across the U.S. with more than 1,000 physicians — including Texas Oncology — started implementing the Enhancing Oncology Model (EOM) developed by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This latest step in value-based oncology care builds on Texas Oncology’s previous experience with the Oncology Care Model (OCM) designed to provide higher quality care at a lower cost.

As one of the largest oncology practices in the U.S. Texas Oncology’s participation is important to the overall success of EOM. To get an up close and first-hand view of the practice in operation, Elizabeth Fowler, Ph.D., J.D., CMS deputy administrator and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) director visited Texas Oncology–San Antonio Medical Center in September.

“Our practice has invested in staffing and enhanced services to improve patient care,” said Debra Patt, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, executive vice president at Texas Oncology, “as well as using electronic patient reported outcomes, or ePRO, which helps providers monitor symptoms in real time to be able to offer care quickly.”

Dr. Patt and Debbie Gaeke, executive director of Texas Oncology–San Antonio, led Dr. Fowler on a tour of the comprehensive cancer center — one of more than 250 sites in the practice — where they visited the lab, infusion pharmacy and retail pharmacy, infusion suite, radiation vault, and patient exam rooms.

“We were delighted to continue to demonstrate our commitment to value-based care, as well as enhancing our partnership with CMMI through EOM,” said Dr. Patt.

OCM Outcomes

In 2016, Texas Oncology implemented the OCM — precursor to the EOM — for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing systemic treatment for cancer. The outcomes achieved under OCM were stellar, including more than $160 million in savings to Medicare and other patient care improvements such as decreased emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Dr. Patt will be presenting the results of using ePRO to improve the quality and value of cancer care under the OCM at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium, along with eight other presentations by Texas Oncology providers — all characterizing quality improvement initiatives to enhance the care of patients.

“In EOM, we are building on the success of OCM, extending the use of evidence-based processes already in place, including patient symptom response, digital treatment care plans and patient education, as well as an electronic health record built for clinical decision support, 24/7 access, and remote access,” said Susan Escudier, M.D., FACP, medical oncologist and hematologist, and vice president of value-based care at Texas Oncology.

Escudier is confident in the practice’s ability to meet the stringent criteria in EOM and plans to report on outcomes at the 2024 ASCO Quality Care Symposium.

The statements contained in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and
completeness of the information contained in this document.