American Oncology Network joins new alternative payment model, taps Thyme Care as partner

American Oncology Network (AON), a network of community oncology practices, announced it is participating in the Enhancing Oncology Model, a new value-based cancer care framework. 

The framework was announced by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation last year to improve outcomes and reduce total costs of care. The model launched in July 2023 is focused on improving the alignment of quality, access and cost through payment incentives for care quality, around-the-clock navigation services and a focus on health equity.

“Oncology is facing an inflection point as the industry moves toward value-based care. AON is proud to be participating in the EOM,” AON Chief Medical Officer Stephen “Fred” Divers, M.D., said in a press release. “We look forward to realizing the goals of EOM as a network and leading the charge toward value-based cancer care.”

AON will partner with Thyme Care to drive its participation in the new model.

Thyme, a value-based oncology platform, provides cancer care support and navigation beyond the clinic. Its team of nurse practitioners, oncology nurses and resource specialists will serve as an extension of AON practices to help patients navigate barriers to care, the groups said. AON oncologists will continue to lead clinical decision-making.

“Thyme Care’s platform of analytics and nurse navigation will provide data-driven solutions for our team of providers to ensure that patients treated in our network will maintain access to the highest standards of oncology care in a cost-effective manner while closing gaps in the care continuum and addressing any health equity disparities,” Divers said in his statement.

Thyme’s data and analytics capabilities will allow for performance monitoring to help drive practice transformation and enable AON to make data-driven decisions when selecting their preferred risk arrangement, according to the announcement.

As a way of addressing the social determinants of health, resources and social services for transportation, housing, food, behavioral health, financial assistance and more will be provided to patients and their caregivers. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with AON’s organization of community oncologists who are at the heart of delivering cancer care and therapies in their communities,” Bobby Green, M.D., co-founder, president and chief medical officer of Thyme, said in the announcement. “Together with AON, we can accelerate EOM to achieve a better patient experience, better outcomes and lower costs of cancer care.”

Launched in 2018, the AON network represents 106 physicians plus 86 nurse practitioners and physician assistants across 19 states. It aims to provide a unique model of physician-led, community-based oncology management.