Oncology practices: A good fit for the ‘medical home’ model

Bruce J. Gould, M.D., medical director for Marietta’s Northwest Georgia Oncology Center, had his work cut out for him when he had to convince his colleagues to embrace the “medical home” model for the practice a few years ago.

What quickly became clear is his practice was the center of activity throughout patients’ cancer treatment. That’s because it was his team that was guiding patients through “very difficult, complex treatments that in many cases are lifesaving,” he told Clinical Oncology News.

And the oncology medical home model is one advocated by the Community Oncology Alliance. Their rationale is simple: Most primary care doctors just don’t have the experience administering cancer treatment or helping their patients navigate through the resulting side effects, according to the publication.

That said, transforming his practice into an oncology medical home was no easy feat, according to Gould. Touching base with stakeholders such as patients, doctors and payers was essential.

What patients wanted were “doctors with the three A’s: ability, adaptability and availability,” according to Gould. Payers were looking for standardized therapies and reduced costs; doctors wanted better reimbursement and didn’t want to have go to battle to provide high-quality patient care.