PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to elevate the patient voice in cancer care, Varian (NYSE: VAR) announced it has been selected as the vendor of choice by the Michigan Oncology Quality Consortium (MOQC) to support its efforts to develop patient-centered quality measures for cancer care. This year, there were an estimated 58,000 new cancer cases in the state of Michigan, according to the American Cancer Society; nearly 18,000 of those new cases are breast cancer and lung and bronchus cancer. MOQC will implement Varian's software application, Noona®, to manage patient symptoms and capture patient reported outcomes (PROs) in cancer care—throughout 19 cancer treatment locations in Michigan--to elevate, assess, and evaluate PROs in cancer treatment.
Through its decision to implement Noona, MOQC is spearheading a statewide project to develop Medicare quality measures for cancer patients by putting patient outcomes and preferences at the center of care. This initial round of public-private partnership cooperative agreements is authorized under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) to identify measures for the Quality Payment Program and initiate system reform to transform Medicare from fee-for-service to value-based care.
"MOQC's unwavering mission is to offer the highest quality cancer care to patients across the state of Michigan," said Dr. Jennifer Griggs, program director of MOQC. "In order to make significant strides toward developing quality measures, we understand the value and need of hearing and responding to the patient's voice—before, during, and after treatment. The selection of Noona was based on the fact that it was the only oncology-specific program, has a patient-friendly interface, and is customizable with a short turnaround time. MOQC practices liked that Noona was owned by a large corporation known in the oncology line of business."
Together with MOQC, Varian aims to help define a new oncology reimbursement model that will enable better patient care and help improve patients' chances of survival. With Noona, patients have the ability to regularly engage during each step of their personal cancer care treatment journey and in-turn help support quality measurement for cancer care.
Noona offers patients an improved way to communicate their symptoms and other relevant clinical information to their care team, while eliminating common barriers, such as patients' physical location or technological adeptness. Throughout MOQC's vendor selection process, clinicians and cancer survivors had the opportunity to demo and experience the Noona platform. The simplicity of the technology, ease of engagement, and positive response from patients and their care teams continues to be promising.
Noona is a cloud-based, mobile application patients use on their smart phones that is structured to collect a standardized dataset that is centered around patients' quality of life—including new or shifting symptoms that may signal a necessary shift in care. Patients are assigned a treatment module that aligns with their cancer type and allows them to regularly report and track their symptoms while sharing their questions and concerns instantly. Positive outcomes reported from clinics worldwide that have adopted Noona include: increased clinical efficiency and reduced workloads (saving up to 60 minutes per day) per user; improved information capture with a 90 percent patient response rate for symptom questionnaires; and more effective patient triage with algorithms that prioritize patients by symptom severity.
Henry Ford Cancer Institute and Munson Medical Center in Michigan are the first two MOQC sites to deploy Noona. Varian and MOQC will continue to oversee Noona's implementation through the end of 2019, with the goal of deploying the platform to all 19 treatment locations by April 2020. For more information, visit www.varian.com/noona
At Varian, we envision a world without fear of cancer. For more than 70 years, we have developed, built and delivered innovative cancer care technologies and solutions for our clinical partners around the globe to help them treat millions of patients each year. With an Intelligent Cancer Care approach, we are harnessing advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to enhance cancer treatment and expand access to care. Our 9,200 employees across 70 countries keep the patient and our clinical partners at the center of our thinking as we power new victories in cancer care. Because, for cancer patients everywhere, their fight is our fight. For more information, visit www.varian.com and follow @VarianMedSys on Twitter.
About Michigan Oncology Quality Consortium (MOQC)
The Michigan Oncology Quality Consortium is a group of medical and gynecologic oncology practices who collaborate to improve the quality of cancer care across the State of Michigan. Launched in 2009, MOQC collects and shares data with its practices to identify areas where care variation, under or over utilization of services, or opportunities to provide guideline -concordant care exist. Strategies for improving and sustaining results and outcomes are identified, communicated and adopted by participating practices. Funding and support for MOQC is provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan.
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