Riverside, one of eight in Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, VA, August 11, 2016 –

When Vice President Joe Biden lost his son to brain cancer, there was resurgence of focus on curing cancer and cancer care reform. In June, the Center for Medicare &Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), a faction of the Center for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS) established with the Affordable Care Act, announced voluntary enrollments of practices participating in the new Oncology Care Model. This includes Riverside Health System's seven practices and 15 providers–more than any other health system of eight in Virginia.

Riverside Health System applied to the CMS Oncology Care Model last year and "we were happy to be selected," said Sandra Snapp, Service Line Administrator for Riverside's Oncology Services, "but not surprised as many of the model requirements are already a part of how we care for our cancer patients."

So how does the Oncology Care Model work?  It is a five-year pilot designed to encourage greater collaboration, information sharing and care coordination for patients to get the care when they need it. Sylvia Burwell, Health and Human Services Secretary said, "this patient-centered care model fits within the Administration dual missions for delivery system reform and the task force –to improve patient access to and the quality of health care while spending dollars more wisely." CMS succinctly describes the program's goals: to achieve better care, smarter spending and healthier people.

The clinical practices required in the model include:

  • Appointment coordination across the health care continuum for timely access to diagnostics and treatment;
  • 24/7 Patient access to a clinician who has real-time access to practice's medical records;
  • Patient navigation for guidance through their overall cancer care - coordinating referrals, assisting with insurance and financial challenges and being available through all the phases of their cancer care;
  • Access to nutrition, massage and music therapy, as well as a psychosocial/depression evaluation;
  • Treatment with therapies consistent with nationally recognized clinical guidelines;
  • Use data to drive continuous quality improvement and,
  • Use certified electronic health record technology.

Riverside cares for more than 1,000 cancer patients per year and has a long history and commitment to caring for patients with cancer using a holistic model of care. As a leader in integrative medicine over the past 20 years - offering nutrition, massage, pet and music therapies - paired with the advanced medical, surgical and radiation therapies supported by patient navigators and nurse educators, Riverside is well positioned for this opportunity. Today, Riverside has the broadest geographic reach in the Southeastern Virginia, with all seven medical oncology practices on the Southside, Eastern Shore, Peninsula, Middle Peninsula and Williamsburg participating in the Oncology Care Model.

Press Contact: 
Natalie Groeger
757-504-7591
Natalie.Groeger@rivhs.com

Published: August 11, 2016