Hi everyone!

December is here, and it is freezing here in New York City. As some of you may know, I spend most of my week at Flatiron’s New York HQ office, but I live and practice one day a week in Florida. This time of year reminds me why so many people move to Florida.

One product update I really want to highlight is New Ordersets.

Being able to order things efficiently in OncoEMR is critical, and Ordersets can help. If you aren’t using Ordersets now, they can help with everything from grouping together common follow-up orders to your standard anemia workup. Ordersets are created and maintained at both the practice-wide and individual level, so if you think you could benefit from Ordersets you don’t already have, talk to your practice admin. There are also some helpful instructions on the Help Center.


Today, Ordersets can only be placed through the New Orderset button, which means extra clicks and wasted time — two irritating issues for any EHR user. To fix this, starting in early 2020 you will have one central place in New Orders to add orders and ordersets for a patient. This will also allow you to take advantage of the New Orders design, including the ability to “favorite” ordersets for easy access.

If you want to learn more about upcoming product enhancements, watch this short clip from our recent Product Roadmap webinar which highlights clinician-facing updates.

I know as a provider it's hard — usually impossible — to take time away from seeing patients to do something like watch a webinar. But I’m hoping we’ve trimmed this down enough. 

According to an interview with two Nobel Laureates, basic scientific research may be the best way to cure cancer.

A few weeks ago, the lead article in The Cancer Letter was an interview with recent Nobel Laureates William Kaelin from Dana Farber and Gregg Semenza from Johns Hopkins. It is a really nice read and there are many important take-home messages, but one that particularly struck me was this: Science for its own sake is important. They make a compelling argument that we should focus more on basic science research, and that perhaps the best way to cure cancer is not to focus solely on things that appear directly related to cancer. Just one example that I'm sure many of you know is the development of checkpoint inhibitors for cancer, which depended on basic research from the ‘80s and ‘90s that had nothing to do with cancer.

The Oncology Care First Model RFI is out, sparking some initial reactions.

Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Request for Information that positions the newly dubbed Oncology Care First (OCF) model as the evolution of the Oncology Care Model (OCM). The OCF, like the OCM, is voluntary and will involve an application process. It will likely begin sometime in the middle of next year.


It’s clear by now that CMS and their Innovation Center want to get providers comfortable with taking on financial risk, which they view as a means to control costs. Because of this, financial risk is a big component of the OCF. As proposed, if you are currently an OCM participant, you have to assume downside risk as part of OCF. If you were not an OCM participant, you can opt out of this downside risk for a limited time.


The intention of CMS to eventually move away from a fee-for-service model is pretty clear here, and to me the most striking element of the model is a new payment form called a Monthly Population Payment (MPP) with both an “Administration” and “Management” component. This essentially replaces E&M services and drug administration with a monthly payment (what is known as MEOS payments in the OCM). Here, CMS is also introducing three risk-stratified population payments by cancer type, where the payments would vary depending on your case mix. The OCF also has a retrospective Performance Based Payment (similar to the shared savings payment in the OCM today).


Where do drugs fit in? The RFI did not mention any change in drug reimbursement and we think they are likely to stay Medicare FFS. We’ll know more once the final details are released sometime next year.


Want to learn more? Join Basit Chaudhry, MD, PhD from Tuple Health and Ryan Holleran from Flatiron to learn about the proposed Oncology Care First model, what it means for your practice, and what to consider when applying.

UPCOMING webinar

The Oncology Care First Model, Simplified

Friday, February 7
12:00PM ET

What I’m reading:

Join the Clinical Community

Join the Clinical Community to subscribe to this newsletter, get updates on new events, and connect with peers both in and out of your network.


Please share this link with anyone else at your practice who would like to join.

Let us know what you think!

As always, please feel free to email me with any questions or feedback about Curbside. It’s always great to hear from you.

233 Spring Street, Floor 5

New York, NY 10013


© 2019 Flatiron Health, Inc. All Rights Reserved.