Regence and Northwest Medical Specialties announce value-based cancer care partnership

Regence BlueShield recently announced a value-based agreement with Northwest Medical Specialties (NWMS) centered around cancer care.

The agreement will incentivize NWMS’s care for Regence BlueShield members based on measurements of “patient satisfaction, patient experience and patient outcomes” according to a press release announcing the partnership. The value-based agreement will apply to all services offered, and cancers treated by NWMS, including brain, leukemia, lung, breast, and colon cancers.


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A Regence spokesperson says the value-based reimbursement for oncology with NWMS will align with CMS’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Under MIPS, performance is measured based off quality, improvement activities, promoting interoperability (such as patient engagement and information exchange), and cost.

The goal is to utilize these measurements and incentives to “improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of care to cancer patients.”

“Our collaboration with NWMS to focus on the patient experience is part of our longstanding mission to move the health care system away from a payment model reliant on volume of care to a model centered around quality of care for the ultimate benefit of our members,” said John Partin, Vice President of Network Management for Regence BlueShield. “This innovative, proven approach improves patient health outcomes and lowers costs in a system craving more efficiency.”

Though Regence has implemented over 50 value-based agreements with providers during the last five years, this is Regence’s first value-based agreement in oncology in Washington.

“As an early adopter in providing cost-effective and high-quality care, we are thrilled to embark on this new model with Regence BlueShield,” said Dr. Sibel Blau, Medical Director for Oncology and Hematology at NWMS. “Our partnership will help change the health care system and have a tangible impact on cancer care in Washington.”