FCS Partners with UnitedHealthcare Implementing Innovative Cancer Care Model

UnitedHealthcare’s Episode Payment Program Helps Expand Patient Access to Quality Care, Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs


Fort Myers, FL — January 3rd, 2018…. Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), the largest independent hematology/medical oncology practice in the United States, has partnered with UnitedHealthcare to implement a cancer care model focused on quality patient care, best treatment practices and health outcomes. 

The episode payment model shifts reimbursement away from the current “fee-for-service” approach that emphasizes volume of care delivered. Similar payment models have shown to enhance care coordination and improve health outcomes for patients, while reducing overall costs. 
Sarah Cevallos, FCS’ Chief Revenue Cycle Officer, said, “Our collaboration  with UnitedHealthcare to expand enhanced oncology services provides the growing population of Florida’s oncology patients access to additional services to support their health care needs.” 
 In a study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice, UnitedHealthcare’s episode of cancer care payment initiative (EOC) reduced overall cancer expenses by more than a third while improving quality outcomes. The program rewards participating medical oncologists if they demonstrate superior clinical results and reduce the total cost of care. 

FCS President and Founder Dr. William Harwin said: “Identifying best practices in the treatment of this very complex disease, coupled with a streamlined payment process, will result in reduced health care costs for patients and their families. The EOC payment program from UnitedHealthcare is consistent with our priority of putting patients’ interests at the forefront of cancer treatment.”

“We welcome the opportunity to work with UnitedHealthcare through this initiative, which is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of oncology care,” said Florida Cancer Specialists CEO Brad Prechtl. “At FCS, we have developed various programs, such as Care Management and our Survivorship initiative that focus on accountability, while ensuring clinically excellent, compassionate and cost-effective care in a community setting.” 

UnitedHealthcare piloted its episode payment program between October 2009 and December 2012 with over 500 oncologists nationwide. The results showed a significant reduction in hospitalizations for patients and a 34 percent reduction in total costs while improving quality.  Since then, the program has been expanded to an additional six sites. Florida Cancer Specialists joins other prominent oncology practices in a growing national movement to explore care and payment models that deliver quality, cost-effective care.