Improving Outcomes for Lung Cancer Patients through Care Coordination

Modern Medicaid Alliance Featured Medicaid Solution: Association of Community Cancer Centers: Improving Outcomes for Lung Cancer Patients through Care Coordination

The Challenge:

Did you know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., contributing to about 160,000 deaths each year? Of those Americans diagnosed, approximately half come from low-income communities, where challenges to accessing care often exist, resulting in a higher risk for poor treatment outcomes.

Medicaid Solution:

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is working to enhance integrated, coordinated care for Medicaid patients diagnosed with lung cancer through a three-year, three-phased initiative that will ultimately create an optimal care coordination model (OCCM). Funding and support for this project is provided by a grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF).

Phase I – Research. The project launched in 2016 with an environmental scan This environmental scan encompassed an extensive literature review of existing materials, along with input from stakeholders including the project’s expert Advisory Committee, a lung cancer survivor, patient advocate, and ACCC staff.

In addition to the environmental scan, ACCC member cancer centers were selected to serve as Development Sites to contribute to the development of the OCCM. Data collection and comprehensive on-site interviews with these programs allowed ACCC to document the current state of care coordination for Medicaid patients with lung cancer. Information gleaned from the process helped inform draft principles for the development of an optimal care coordination model (OCCM).

Phase II – Building the Model; Recruiting Testing Sites. Based on the information compiled in Phase 1, ACCC refined the beta optimal care coordination model (OCCM) in early 2017. The Model builds directly on the Multidisciplinary Care Assessment Tool created by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). Designed to be used at cancer programs of all resource levels, the ACCC optimal care coordination model focuses 13 areas of care for patients with lung cancer.

Seven ACCC member programs will serve as Testing Sites for the beta Optimal Care Coordination Model. Testing is necessary to ensure that the Model is a practical, easy-to-use guide to help cancer programs improve care for their Medicaid patients with lung cancer.

Phase III – Testing the Model. During this phase, Testing Sites will deploy the beta Model to conduct one or more quality improvement projects over a 12-month period, from October 2017-September 2018. Results from the testing phase will be used to further refine and modify the Model.

Results in Progress:

While the project is ongoing, the environmental scan revealed six key insights for improving care coordination for lung cancer patients with Medicaid. The insights addressed the barriers that individuals sometimes face for treatment, the importance of patient engagement, and targeted support that has been proven to lead to better outcomes – including patient navigators, multidisciplinary teams, and support services across the continuum of care.

Stay tuned for updates as this ACCC initiative progresses in testing the OCCM and reporting outcomes through quality improvement initiatives at select ACCC member cancer programs.

“ACCC is excited to lead the charge for improved health equity in lung cancer treatment through this collaboration with BMSF. We have the opportunity to bring ACCC membership’s unmatched expertise in treating cancer at the community level to improve health outcomes for some of our country’s most vulnerable patients through a new care coordination model that could be adapted for other areas of cancer care.”Christian Downs, JD, MHA, Executive Director, ACCC