Want to succeed in OCM? Invest in patient education.

Stephanie GingerOncology Care Model, Patient Engagement, Value-based Care

Reducing avoidable emergency department visits and hospitalizations

There is general agreement among cancer care providers, payers and health IT companies that the Oncology Care Model’s best hope of success is reducing emergency department visits and avoiding unneeded hospitalizations. Since drug prices are mostly fixed, it’s the these costly hospital visits that are a promising area for reducing the cost of cancer care. However, in order to do this, the pilots on which the OCM was based (COME HOME and others) added costly staff and resources to care for small patient populations and that’s not realistic for practices serving large populations without the benefit of grant money.

Now, a year into the program, practices – some more than others – are still unsure of exactly how to deliver the highly coordinated care dictated by the model, reduce the cost of care and comply with all of the regulatory requirements.

Education may be the missing piece of your value-based care strategy

If your practice is looking for ways to succeed in value-based care, whether it’s OCM, MIPS or another payer pilot, don’t overlook the power of patient education.1

We have heard over and over from our clinic partners that patients often worry about bothering their care team with every little problem. They are confused or struggle to process complicated instructions. They suffer with ongoing side effects allowing them to become severe or stop taking their oral therapy, putting their treatment in jeopardy. If they don’t know how to self-manage side effects or when to contact their care team or how important it is to stay on their treatment plan, the outcome is often an expensive visit to a hospital and a disruption in therapy.

On the other hand, if you give each patient information specific to their diagnosis, what to expect from their treatment plan, what side effects may arise and how to manage them – many issues can be addressed before they are too serious for the hospital. An automated engine is also a great way to get other useful information in front of patients – from dietary advice to emotional support – you can give patients a holistic care experience.

It’s not enough to just give patients an overview of their diagnosis and treatment options and decision during an office visit. There’s too much to process and often the patient has difficulty remembering everything they are told. They may want to include family members in the decision making process and they may need to re-read complicated information. Delivering information when it’s needed most and then making it available in digital format 24/7 is a much more effective strategy. An educated patient feels empowered and more satisfied with their care, both of which are important in value-based care.

Your staff is likely already burdened with a heavy load in caring for patients. If you don’t have the resources to deliver personalized education and ongoing access to each patient, we do.

Navigating Cancer’s Unique Patient Education Service

Navigating Cancer’s Patient Education Program gives you a convenient and efficient way to instruct, inform and educate your patients. The Patient Education Program can deliver educational information to patients, ranging from diagnosis and treatment specific to general information and self-care to custom materials specific to your practice. Information can be sent either automatically based on ICD-9 codes or on a patient-by-patient basis as determined by the care team. The information is not only delivered to the patient, but it is also be stored under Navigating Care’s Education tab for easy access later.

Staff Benefits:

  • We provide your practice with a robust library of trusted cancer education including disease information from the NCI, medication information from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and more
  • The program is automated ensuring that the right material is delivered at the right time to your patients which lessens the administrative burden on staff and ensures patients receive information that’s tailored to their specific needs
  • Everything can be customized according to your preferences
    The delivery engine provides metrics and engagement information to help you comply with value-based programs and help patients who may need extra assistance

Patient Benefits:

  • Patients can review educational information prior to medical appointments for more meaningful discussions with their care team
  • With access to information specific to their diagnosis and treatment, patients are equipped to self-manage therapy
  • The information is always available on the patient’s Education tab so they can review information at their own pace and revisit it as needed
  • A recent study found that patients who viewed treatment specific education stayed on treatment and survived longer1

Find out more – contact us today.


1 Howard, SC et al Increasing the duration and efficacy of intravenous chemotherapy using a patient centered digital education program [abstract] ASCO 2017 AB nr e18025 patients