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Starling Physicians Partners with Aetna on Oncology Medical Home Model

By Starling Physicians

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Rocky Hill, CT - Starling Physicians is proud to announce a partnership with Aetna to participate in an oncology medical home model that is designed to improve the care experience for patients. This model is dedicated to enhancing the delivery of quality and value in cancer care. It will include ongoing monitoring and measurement to allow for the continued improvement to the patient experience.

Within an oncology medical home model, teams of cancer specialists collectively provide for a patient’s healthcare when he or she has a cancer diagnosis. The model gives Starling Physicians the responsibility to proactively arrange for appropriate care with no interruptions.

“We are continually looking to collaborate with plans like Aetna who are making an investment in providing us with the data and quality protocols that allow us to provide an even higher quality care to our patients,” explains Dr. Jarrod Post, Chief Medical Officer at Starling Physicians. “The oncology medical home is in line with our vision of providing a better healthcare experience for our valued patients. This new patient-focused model allows us to enhance the types of quality care we deliver that is personalized, coordinated, and efficient.“

The model is part of a strategic direction in healthcare to transition from fee-for-service medicine to value-based payment. Value-based arrangements are emerging as a solution to address rising healthcare costs, clinical inefficiency, and duplication of services, and to make it easier for people to get the care they need. In value-based models, doctors and hospitals are paid for helping keep people healthy and for improving the health of those who have chronic conditions in an evidence-based, cost-effective way.

“We understand that cancer treatment can be the hardest experience that our members will ever have to go through,” said Daniel Knecht, M.D., M.B.A., Aetna’s Head of Strategy & Planning and Interim Head of Oncology Solutions. “This oncology medical home with Starling Physicians will help provide our members with high-quality care and an optimal patient experience.”

The operating principles of the Starling and Aetna oncology medical home include:

• An orientation to the whole person. The central focus is on the patient and his or her entire medical condition. A member of the Starling team will be responsible for providing or arranging for all of a patient’s healthcare needs with other qualified professionals. This includes care for all stages of treatment: acute care, chronic care, preventive services, and end-of-life care.
• Evidence-based, personalized medical care. The Starling team will focus on designing treatment regimens based on current medical evidence for each unique disease presentation, patient-specific factors, and patient choice. Cancer care is optimized based on sound empirical data and evidence to produce quality outcomes.
• Coordinated and integrated care. The goal is to make cancer care accessible and efficient, with treatment provided in the highest quality, lowest cost setting for the patient. Across all elements of the complex health system, care will be facilitated to enable Aetna members to get the appropriate care when and where it is needed.
• Quality and safety. Quality and safety will be a focus of care, including use of evidence-based medicine, clinical decision support tools, and accountability for continuous quality improvement.
• Enhanced access to care. Care will be available through systems such as open scheduling, expanded hours, and new options for communication between Aetna members, their personal physicians, and hospital staff.

Starling and Aetna began their partnership in the oncology medical home in October of 2016. This partnership is in line with other efforts that Starling is taking to raise the bar in cancer care. This includes participation in the nationwide Oncology Care Model that is similarly designed to encourage greater collaboration, information sharing, and evidence-based quality care to improve the patient experience for Medicare holders.

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