What is the Enhancing Oncology Model (EOM)?

The Oncology Care Model (OCM) is dead. The Oncology Care Model was a voluntary, alternative payment model (APM), that “included financial and performance accountability for episodes of care surrounding chemotherapy administration to cancer patients.” OCM expired at the end of June 2022, and will be replaced by the Enhancing Oncology Model. EOM is a also…

Preferred Pharmacies in Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D plans have begun using preferred pharmacy networks in order to steer their beneficiaries to lower cost pharmacies. A key question is, does this work? A paper by Xu et al. (2022) aims to answer this question using 2011-2016 data. that compares Low Income Subsidy (LIS) Medicare beneficiaries and non-LIS beneficiaries. LIS beneficiaries…

Who pays more for hospital and physician services: commercial payers, Medicare or Medicaid? And how much more?

Many people might know that generally the answer is commercial health plans have the most generous reimbursement compared to government plans. However, a key question is how much more do they pay? Commercial vs. Medicare rates A January 2022 report by the Congressional Budget Office finds that commercial payers reimburse hospitals at 223% of Medicare…

Quality of Care at Teaching Hospitals

Medicare pays higher reimbursement to teaching hospitals through indirect medical education (IME) payments to hospitals that train a high share of residents. IME inflate standard reimbursements in an attempt to compensate hospitals for these additional costs. Medicare also pay hospitals directly for some cost of training residents through the graduate medical education (GME). A key…

Did the Oncology Care Model produce cost savings?

The answer is ‘yes’, but the magnitude of these savings are relatively small and more than offset by additional OCM program costs. Keating et al. (2021) writes: In this exploratory difference-in-differences study of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with cancer undergoing chemotherapy (483 310 beneficiaries with 987 332 episodes treated at 201 OCM participating practices and 557 354 beneficiaries with…