Oncology Rounds

OCM update: CMMI publishes list of practices who have submitted LOIs

by Kenna Hawes

On April 15, CMMI published a list of practices who have submitted a letter of intent (LOI) to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM) by the May 7 deadline. The LOI is non-binding, but is a prerequisite for application to the Model. This list joins a previously published list of payers that submitted letters of intent by the April 9 payer deadline.

Diverse geographic spread of practices

The list of provider LOIs includes 443 oncology practices across the country. The OCM is, in this early stage, succeeding in its desired national reach: at least one practice has applied from every state except for Maryland. Maryland practices are not able to participate in the OCM because in-state physicians are not reimbursed under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Predictably, more populous states have seen greater demonstrated provider interest. Thirty-four practices in California and 36 New York practices have submitted LOIs, while Vermont, Alaska, and Wyoming each saw LOIs from only one practice. The majority of practices that have submitted LOIs have multiple locations, and some of these multi-location practices span multiple states.

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Notable LOI submissions

A number of oncology medical home innovator practices have submitted LOIs, including all seven of the COME HOME practices and oncology patient-centered medical home practice Consultants in Medical Oncology & Hematology, P.C. (Drexel Hill, PA). Bundled payment innovators Regional Cancer Care Associates (Hackensack, NJ) and 21st Century Oncology (Jacksonville, FL) have also submitted LOIs.

One non-oncologist specialty practice submitted an LOI: Greater Boston Urology, which manages patients with prostate, kidney, bladder, and other urological cancers. In their LOI, Greater Boston Urology notes that they only administer chemotherapy to a few patients per year, but that they are hoping that their greater volumes of hormone therapy and immunotherapy will qualify them for OCM participation.

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How many LOI-submitting practices will move forward with application?

The large number of practice LOIs indicates a high level of interest in the OCM for the oncology community, but it is unclear whether this interest will translate from the non-binding LOI to the actual application process. However, now that an established cohort has formally expressed interest in the model, payers and providers can collaborate on the application process with greater ease.

Payers have significant leeway to modify aspects of the OCM-FFS model, so practices hoping to participate in the OCM with a specific private payer should reach out to that payer now to discuss the structure of the pilot model and the application process.

OCM Application details

Payer and practice applications must be submitted to CMMI by 5:00 PM ET on June 18, 2015. The final OCM Request for Applications (RFA), accompanied by application templates, can be found at CMMI’s OCM homepage.

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