• WisBusiness

Monday, August 15, 2016

Appleton cancer center selected for national oncology care model

By MaryBeth Matzek

An Appleton cancer clinic is the only one in Wisconsin that’s taking part in a new Medicare payment model.

Fox Valley Hematology & Oncology joined about 200 physician groups nationally that the feds selected for their new Oncology Care Model, part of their efforts to figure out ways to get better care for Medicare enrollees at lower costs.

“We’ve been in business for 25 years and know we want to do the best for our patients, and being part of this care model shows we are keeping to our patient-first philosophy,” said physician Timothy Goggins.

To get approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FVHO had to meet several requirements, including offering weekend access and having a chemotherapy education program. Goggins said the practice, which has satellite clinics in several surrounding clinics, was already doing many of those things in their efforts to improve patient care.

The weekend clinic started more than a year ago, Goggins said, helping to ensure chemo patients who get dehydrated can come to FVHO for intravenous fluids instead of going to the emergency room.

“We can not only offer those services at a lower cost than the ER, but we can offer them in an environment and with providers they are familiar with,” Goggins said.

The clinic also had to add Clear Value Plus, a computer program that highlights evidence-based treatment options for physicians and provides clinical and reimbursement information for patients.

The HHS oncology care model started July 1 and runs through June 30, 2021, covering about 155,000 Medicare beneficiaries nationwide. As part of the program, physician practices may receive performance-based payments for chemotherapy services, as well as a monthly care management payment for each beneficiary.

While the care model is focused on Medicare patients, Goggins said all patients benefit.

“We’ve really expanded our resources to all our patients,” he said. “Patients know they are receiving better care and better value for their money.”

Aviation business park opens: After years of planning, the business park focused on the aviation industry has opened in Oshkosh.

The Aviation Business Park at Wittman Regional Airport is being jointly developed by the City of Oshkosh and Winnebago County. Oshkosh is looking to take advantage of being the home to the Experimental Aircraft and several aviation-related companies, such as Sonex, by attracting new aviation-focused businesses -- whether they are manufacturers or service providers.

The park, which will be developed over the next 10 years, is expected to spur $73 million annually in additional economic activity and bring 250 to 500 new jobs to the community, said Airport Director Peter Moll.

The new aviation business park is divided into two areas. The western half, which belongs to the county, will be leased to businesses and offer accessibility to Wittman’s taxiways. The city owns the eastern half of the park, and those lots are available to purchase.

Health providers team up:
Bellin Health Partners of Green Bay and Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc have formed a collaborative business relationship, designed to improve care and reduce health care costs.

Both providers say the deal is not a merger, but rather an opportunity to share best practices, develop joint initiatives and offer additional services to consumers.

Through the collaboration, Holy Family Memorial will be able to participate in Bellin Health Partners, a physician-led accountable care organization and healthcare network. Holy Family Memorial’s participation will allow Bellin Health Partners to provide better products and services to health insurance companies while letting the Manitowoc-based health system access more consumers in northeast Wisconsin.

-- Matzek, a freelance writer and editor, is the owner of 1Bizzy Writer. She has worked in the past as a news editor at Insight Publications and as business editor at the Appleton Post-Crescent.

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