Livio Health, Minnesota Oncology Partner on Palliative, Supportive Care

Minneapolis-based Livio Health has launched a partnership with cancer care provider Minnesota Oncology to offer home-based palliative care to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Livio will provide care to Minnesota Oncology patients in their homes through interdisciplinary teams including nurse practitioners, social workers and nursing care coordinators with a focus on symptom management and improving quality of life.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on nationwide, Livio’s care model will initially rely extensively on telehealth, though staff will also conduct home visits when appropriate.

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“During the COVID-19 health crisis, the Livio care team has quickly transitioned to providing many of these important supportive care services via telehealth until it is safe to begin delivering in-home care for this at-risk population,” said A.R. Weiler, CEO of Livio Health. “People with serious illnesses receive treatment for their diagnosis, but their broader needs – from physical, cognitive and emotional, to social and spiritual – are often unmet. As part of the value-based agreement between Blue Cross and Minnesota Oncology, Livio will meet these broader needs with no additional cost to the member. This is an example of how we’re transforming the health care delivery model, delivering better outcomes, providing an unparalleled patient experience and addressing affordability.”

The Livio teams will offer additional support to Minnesota Oncology’s comprehensive care model, which among other elements includes remote symptoms monitoring, advance care planning, palliative care and survivorship support. Livio will give patients 24-hour access to symptom management, as well as emotional and spiritual care and advance care planning services.

The partnership emerged from a Sept. 19 agreement between Minnesota Oncology that made the practice and Blue Cross jointly accountable for the overall cost of cancer care provided to the insurance company’s members.

The companies indicated that they expect their collaboration to evolve and expand as time goes on.

“Studies have shown that cancer patients who receive supportive care early on in their diagnosis are more likely to experience a higher quality of life with less stress placed on themselves and their families,” said John Schwerkoske, M.D., president and medical oncologist at Minnesota Oncology. “We also see a reduction in the number of hospital and emergency room visits for these patients, which usually means a higher level of physical and financial well-being.”

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