James Talcott, MD
At first glance, North Star Lodge would seem to have little to gain by upending its operational flow and embracing the Oncology Care Model (OCM) and its form of patient-centered, outcome-based care that costs providers time and money up front.
That patient population is divided about evenly between whites and Hispanics, with each group making up about 46% of the total. Native Americans make up just under 2%, with the remaining 6% divided among all other nationalities and ethnicities.
The Importance of Financial Navigators
North Star’s catchment area includes a large number of affluent farmers, but the median household income is still less than half of the Washington state average. That means that a substantial number of patients have already benefited from at least 1 aspect of the OCM model: financial navigators. The practice now has 5 full-time staff members who look for ways to save patients money and fund the care that North Star provides. Each time the practice begins treating a patient with no insurance, lackluster coverage, or the inability to meet co-pays, these navigators look for programs that can help, such as available insurance options, philanthropies, and pharmaceutical company programs.
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