CORDATA BLOG

Cancer and Depression: Managing a Common Comorbidity

Posted by Cam McClellan Teems

September 19, 2017 at 1:59 PM

Depression is one of the most common comorbidities after a cancer diagnosis. That’s no wonder. The severity of the disease, the impact on family members, the difficulty of treatment regimens, uncertain outcomes, the financial strain and other factors can lead to depression or exacerbate existing depression. The depression is easy to overlook when other symptoms – such as sleep problems, weight loss or pain – are more severe.

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Topics: Cancer Management

What Oncology Bundled Payments Will Look Like

Posted by Cam McClellan Teems

September 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Value-based payment models continue to gain traction across specialties, leading many to wonder what shape they will take in oncology. Experts seem to think that they might look at lot like episode-specific payments. Lindsay Conway, managing director at the Advisory Board, thinks that the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s pilot with UnitedHealthcare sets a good example for bundles in cancer.

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Topics: oncology, Bundled Payments

Care Coordination Quality Measures: A List of NQF Endorsements

Posted by Cam McClellan Teems

August 25, 2017 at 7:25 AM

Accurately assessing care quality is a tricky task. The number of quality measures to choose from for reporting can seem overwhelming. And attempting to sift through them all can be an even tougher undertaking. Because the standards for quantifying quality come from many sources, it’s often challenging to figure out which are the best fit for your specialty, or lead to the most meaningful improvement.

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Topics: Navigation & Care Coordination, Patient Outcomes

To Better Serve Patients With Cancer, Navigators Need Better Systems

Posted by Cordata Health

August 23, 2017 at 10:29 AM

Navigators are a critical piece of oncology care. But many of their systems are lagging in efficiency and quality, hurting both patients and hospital processes. Cordata’s Oncology National Accounts Advisor Cam McClellan Teems recently authored a guest post for Oncology Nurse Advisor highlighting this need for improved systems and interoperability for all involved in the care team.

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Topics: outcomes data, Navigation & Care Coordination, Patient Outcomes

Five Trends Affecting Cancer Care

Posted by Cordata Health

August 22, 2017 at 11:35 AM

The oncology treatment landscape is continuously shifting. Along with new discoveries and innovations consistently popping up, overarching trends in the health care industry are bound to affect the way we address cancer treatment.

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Topics: reimbursement, Cancer Management, Navigation & Care Coordination, Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care

Pivotal Distress Screening Adherence is a Key Cost Container

Posted by Cam McClellan Teems

August 3, 2017 at 10:15 AM

It’s easy to overlook important information when a patient is first diagnosed — many factors could easily lead to hospital readmission after initial treatment. And for cancer patients, there is an especially high risk for distress-related comorbidities. While chronic pain is a common problem for survivors, addressing psychological factors also plays a large role in recovery. In fact, a recent study in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network shows that in a two-month period following screening for distress, adherence to screening protocols led to fewer emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

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Topics: CoC, operational metrics, Cancer Management, Screening, Patient Outcomes

New CMS Initiative Aims to Boost Coordination

Posted by Cordata Health

July 19, 2017 at 3:21 PM

This past March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new initiative to increase awareness of its program focused on care coordination. Called Connected Care, the program aims to increase the number of providers billing for coordinated care services. Coordination improves outcomes for those with chronic conditions. Naturally, incentives to provide these services should increase their adoption and lead to more effective coordination and, ultimately, better outcomes.

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Topics: Navigation & Care Coordination, Chronic Care, Value-Based Care, CMS, Patient Outcomes

Patients Who Self-Report Symptoms Live Longer

Posted by Cam McClellan Teems

June 20, 2017 at 10:27 AM

Physician: "How have you been feeling this week?"
Patient: "I was pretty sick – vomiting a lot. Not sure if it was one of the meds I am on or not."
Physician: “Why didn’t you call? We could have perhaps called in a prescription to help you or changed your meds.”
Patient: “Well, I didn’t want to bother you.”

This is a sample conversation like one that Dr. Ethan Basch, who is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UNC, alluded to in a recent podcast. Many physicians regularly face similar situations because patients feel uncomfortable self-reporting symptoms associated with diseases and treatment.

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Topics: patient satisfaction, oncology, Cancer Management, Navigation & Care Coordination, Patient Engagement, Patient Outcomes

Survivorship Can Be Harder than Treatment -  Honoring Survivors Throughout Their Lives

Posted by Cordata Health

June 4, 2017 at 8:00 AM

National Cancer Survivors Day

June 4th was National Cancer Survivors Day and at Cordata we want to recognize all of the hard work that care coordinators, nurse navigators, care managers and providers do to help survivors figure out what to do "now" – at the end of active treatment. So many patients get so comfortable with their close relationships with their care team that they are unsure about life on their own as a survivor. It is both exciting and scary.

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Topics: Cancer Management

A Quick Overview of Value-Based Care and Payment Models in Cancer Care

Posted by Cam McClellan Teems

May 9, 2017 at 3:24 PM

MACRA. MIPS. APMS. Value-based care. All of these topics can certainly be confusing. Still, CEOs and physicians face largely the same problem: balancing the requirements for so many different fee structures. Fee-for-service and alternative payment models (APMs) will exist simultaneously for quite some time under MACRA. And then there are the merit-based incentive payment systems (MIPS).

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Topics: Cancer Management, Navigation & Care Coordination, Payment Models, Value-Based Care, MACRA