Health insurer Humana has contracted with 21st Century Oncology, a large Florida-based physicians group in what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind effort to bundle payments for radiation therapy services used to treat several common cancers. The physicians group will provide a defined set of treatments and procedures for a fixed price.
If successful, the effort could serve as a blueprint to help shift the costs of complex and expensive radiation therapy services from volume-based, fee-for-service charges to evidence-based treatment.
The bundling model already has a foothold in orthopedic procedures and is gaining acceptance in cardiology. Physicians and payers like the model because it can help stabilize revenue streams and payment structures.
Humana's three-year contract with 21st Century, effective Aug. 1, includes much of the national insurer's commercial and Medicare books of business, with the exception of its Medicare HMO business. Fort Myers-based 21st Century includes more than 250 facilities in 16 states and seven countries.