Agreement Provides Additional Cancer Care Support at No Cost to Medicare Advantage Members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS, June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Livio Health (Livio) and Minnesota Oncology, a practice in The US Oncology Network (The Network), today announced an agreement that will create an enhanced, patient-centered experience for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) Medicare Advantage members.
Through this collaboration, Livio nurse practitioners, social workers and nurse care coordinators will serve as an extension of the Minnesota Oncology care team, providing additional medical support virtually and in patients’ homes to address quality of life and acute symptoms.
As a result of COVID-19, Livio quickly developed a virtual care model to protect at-risk oncology patients from exposure, while adhering to all social distancing guidelines established by public health officials.
“During the COVID-19 health crisis, the Livio care team has quickly transitioned to providing many of these important supportive care services via telehealth until it is safe to begin delivering in-home care for this at-risk population,” said A.R. Weiler, CEO of Livio Health. “People with serious illnesses receive treatment for their diagnosis, but their broader needs – from physical, cognitive and emotional, to social and spiritual – are often unmet. As part of the value-based agreement between Blue Cross and Minnesota Oncology, Livio will meet these broader needs with no additional cost to the member. This is an example of how we’re transforming the healthcare delivery model, delivering better outcomes, providing an unparalleled patient experience and addressing affordability.”
Physicians, nurses, social workers, nutrition therapists and genetic counselors all play an important role in Minnesota Oncology’s comprehensive care model, which also includes remote symptoms monitoring, advance care planning, palliative care and survivorship support. As an important piece of this care model, Livio provides patients with 24-hour access to symptom management, as well as emotional and spiritual support and advance care planning guidance. The two teams are working together to stay connected on patients’ needs and create a coordinated experience for patients and their families. This collaboration will evolve and expand over time.
“Studies have shown that cancer patients who receive supportive care early on in their diagnosis are more likely to experience a higher quality of life with less stress placed on themselves and their families,” said John Schwerkoske, MD, president and medical oncologist at Minnesota Oncology. “We also see a reduction in the number of hospital and emergency room visits for these patients, which usually means a higher level of physical and financial well-being.”
Collaboration between Minnesota Oncology and Livio developed following a September 2019 agreement that made Blue Cross and Minnesota Oncology jointly accountable for the overall cost of cancer care provided to Blue Cross members. Livio works closely with Blue Cross – Minnesota’s largest non-profit insurer – to deliver supportive, virtual and in-home medical care for members with serious illnesses.
Livio and Minnesota Oncology are continuously monitoring guidance from state and federal public health officials to determine the appropriate timing for moving forward with in-home care delivery as part of this agreement.
Minnesota Oncology is dedicated to providing compassionate care for various types of cancer and blood disorders in 12 convenient Twin Cities metro locations, as well as several satellite locations. Minnesota Oncology provides high-quality cancer care in a community setting, allowing patients to stay close to the comfort of home and family. Its mission is to combine the strength of hope with the power of science, one patient at a time.
Minnesota Oncology is a practice in The US Oncology Network (The Network). This collaboration unites the practice with more than 1,350 independent physicians dedicated to delivering value-based, integrated care to patients — close to home. Through The Network, these independent doctors come together to form a community of shared expertise and resources dedicated to advancing local cancer care and to delivering better patient outcomes. The Network is supported by McKesson Corporation, whose coordinated resources and infrastructure allow doctors in The Network to focus on the health of their patients, while McKesson focuses on the health of their practices. Minnesota Oncology also participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in more than 95 FDA-approved cancer therapies.
Livio Health provides supportive medical care for people with serious illness through in-home, phone and video visits. Livio’s care teams work alongside specialists and primary care teams to provide care tailored to patients’ values and aspirations. Livio gives patients access to 24/7 medical support and a team of experts, including physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers and nurses. At Livio, we help patients and families focus on more good days.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A nonprofit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.9 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.