We examined whether the Community Oncology Medical Home (COME HOME) program, a medical home program implemented in seven community oncology practices, was associated with changes in spending and care quality.


We compared outcomes from elderly fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed between 2011 and 2015 with breast, lung, colorectal, thyroid, or pancreatic cancer, lymphoma, or melanoma and served by COME HOME practices before and after program implementation versus similar beneficiaries served by other geographically proximate oncologists. Difference-in-differences analysis compared changes in outcomes for COME HOME patients versus concurrent controls. Propensity score matching and regression methods were adjusted for clinical and sociodemographic differences. Our primary outcome was 6-month medical spending per beneficiary. Secondary outcomes included 6-month out-of-pocket spending, inpatient and ambulatory care–sensitive hospitalizations, readmissions, length of stay, and emergency department and evaluation and management visits.


Before COME HOME, 6-month medical spending was $2,975 higher for the study group compared with controls (95% CI, $1,635 to $4,315; P < .001) and increasing at a similar rate. After intervention, this difference was reduced to $318 (95% CI, −$1,105 to $1,741; P = .661), a significant change of −$2,657 (95% CI, −$4,631 to −$683; P = .008) or 8.1% savings relative to 6-month average spending ($32,866). COME HOME was also associated with significantly reduced (10.2 %) emergency department visits per 1,000 patients per 6-month period (P = .024). There were no statistically significant differences in other outcomes.


COME HOME was associated with reduced Medicare spending and improved emergency department use. The patient-centered medical home model holds promise for oncology practices, but improvements were not uniform.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Journal of Oncology Practice, v. 15, no. 1, p. e56-e64.

© 2018 by American Society of Clinical Oncology

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

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Funding Information

Supported by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Grant No. 1C1CMS330960.