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Regence BlueShield and Northwest Medical Specialties Partner on Value-Based Cancer Care

March 08, 2019

SEATTLE – Regence BlueShield and Northwest Medical Specialties (NWMS) today announced a new value-based agreement that will help enhance the quality of care for cancer patients in the Puget Sound region.

Regence’s innovative agreement with NWMS, one of the leading providers of cancer care in western Washington, will ensure that NWMS’s care for Regence members is incentivized based on patient satisfaction, patient experience and patient outcomes. Value-based care results in a team-based approach specifically designed to improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of care to cancer patients.

“Our collaboration with NWMS to focus on the patient experience is part of our longstanding mission to move the health care system away from a payment model reliant on volume of care to a model centered around quality of care for the ultimate benefit of our members,” said John Partin, Vice President of Network Management for Regence BlueShield. “This innovative, proven approach improves patient health outcomes and lowers costs in a system craving more efficiency.”

Over the past five years, Regence BlueShield and its affiliated health plans have implemented more than 50 value-based agreements with providers across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah.

NWMS, with six locations across Pierce County and South King County, has emerged in recent years as a national leader in value-based cancer care.

“As an early adopter in providing cost-effective and high-quality care, we are thrilled to embark on this new model with Regence BlueShield,” said Dr. Sibel Blau, Medical Director for Oncology and Hematology at NWMS. “Our partnership will help change the health care system and have a tangible impact on cancer care in Washington.”

About Regence BlueShield 
Regence BlueShield has been serving Washingtonians in select counties for over a century and now provides nearly 1.1 million members with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit, or

About Northwest Medical Specialties
Northwest Medical Specialties (NWMS) provides state-of-the-art medical service for patients diagnosed with cancer, blood diseases and infectious diseases. NWMS is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and understanding individual needs. NWMS participates in several quality cancer-care initiatives, such as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s Oncology Care Model, American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance.


ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation Now Open At Tacoma!

NWMS would like to welcome ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation to our Tacoma location! On March 4th, 2019 ReVital officially opened its doors to begin seeing NWMS patients. We are excited to partner with ReVital to bring additional services and support to our patients!

Here is a list of services ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation can provide. Please let your provider know if you are interested in being seen by the ReVital team!



Quality Cancer Care Alliance- Winter Summit 2019


On February 28th 2019, Quality Cancer Care Alliance(QCCA) held its winter leadership conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Representatives from 29 practices across the United States attended the summit to learn and participate about the cancer care landscape, new innovative therapies and upcoming initiatives to improve cancer care. Among the attendees were several providers and leaders from Northwest Medical Specialties, PLLC including Sibel Blau, MD; Robert McCroskey, MD; Swathi Namburi, MD; Ndegwa Njuguna, MD; Rohan Sharma, MD.

Sibel Blau, MD, president of QCCA opened the meeting with an overview of where the healthcare landscape is now and where its heading. This kick-off presentation set the tone for the meeting as many speakers followed after to bring insight and knowledge to the rest in attendance. Speakers including Barbara L. McAneny, MD, FASCO, MACP; Ted Okon, Executive Director, COA; Ray Page, DO, PhD, The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders; Ed Rodgers, VIA Oncology; Robert Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN; Ken Anderson, MD, Program Director, Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics, Dana Farber Cancer Institute. 

QCCA strives to improve the quality of care by marshaling the most effective therapies, diagnostics, processes, and research in the service of our patients. Cancer care is best delivered locally, in the patient’s own community, by independent practitioners who provide personal, yet technologically advanced care. Our efforts are primarily focused on helping our member practices flourish by providing them with the best business models, practice efficiencies, and financial advantages.

Don’t Forget to CALL US FIRST!

Remember to CALL US FIRST so that we can address your care needs as soon as possible. There will be times when you need to call us to report symptoms, please call the moment your symptoms begin or as soon as you notice you are in need of a medication refill.

The sooner we know, the sooner we can help.
Thank you for trusting us with your care!

“On The Spot” Employee

Congratulations Alan King ~ Medical Assistant ~ Tacoma Office

Alan was “spotted” by Kiersten Walden for Compassion. Kiersten stated, “Alan ensures all patient and nurse needs are met prior to leaving each day, often after his scheduled time to leave. We all appreciate you, Alan! Thank you for putting patient needs first.”

Alan was also “spotted” by Christy Greninger for being a Team Player. Christy wrote, “Alan is always willing to help out. Anytime I need something, blankets, fluids and patient supplies, he is cheerful and quite happy and willing to lend a hand. His teamwork makes our job so much easier to manage and frees us up to do more for the patients.”

Thank you, Alan for going that extra mile!

Dr. Namburi Is Now Accepting New Patients!

Dr. Swathi Namburi joined NWMS in September of 2018. We are so happy to have Dr. Namburi on our team! She is currently accepting new patients at our Federal Way and Tacoma Locations!

Dr Namburi grew up in India and New Jersey. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a full scholarship and completed two majors in Biological Sciences and English Literature in 3.5 years, graduating with Phi Beta Kappa honors. She attended medical school at Rutgers University after which she completed residency at George Washington University in D.C. She then spent two years working as an internal medicine attending at Columbia University in NYC, where she also taught medical students about clinical medicine and worked on research projects to advance care of women who are at high risk for breast cancer. She then started a fellowship program in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where she gained expert knowledge in caring for a wide variety of cancers and blood disorders. While there, she worked on laboratory research in acute myeloid leukemia and hematopoietic stem cells. Her research over the years has been presented at several international meetings including: American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

She joined NWMS and provides medical care for patients with a variety of cancers and blood disorders. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Oncology. She speaks several languages to some degree including Telugu, Hindi, Spanish, and French. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books and spending time with her family.

Patient Advocacy Educational Event

In 2017, Northwest Medical Specialties (NWMS) teamed up with Community Oncology Alliance (COA) Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) to launch a local chapter. CPAN is a nationally recognized patient advocacy group providing the patient’s voice along with community oncologists, nurses, and healthcare administrators in the fight to preserve community cancer care and access to local care.

If you are a patient, cancer survivor, family member/caregiver clinician, employee, or member of the community, we welcome you to join us for an informative and inspiring evening.

Educational topics will include: insight into how national policy issues impact local patient care, COA and CPAN advocacy initiatives, and opportunities for you to become a Cancer Care Advocate.


Date:  Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Time:  4:00-5:00PM

Location: Northwest Medical Specialties

(Event will be held in the conference room)

11511 Canterwood Boulevard NW

Gig Harbor, WA 98332

This is a free program, but registration is required. To register contact, please contact Abra Kelson at (253) 200-3164,

“What Do I Tell The Kids?” Workshop

This free workshop focuses on building awareness about how to carry out conversations about cancer diagnosis and treatment. People impacted by cancer and their loved ones are invited to join us as we learn what kids know about this condition at different ages, how to talk about cancer, tips for answering common questions, ways to help your child, and additional resources.

Dinner will be served, and childcare will be provided!                      

Featured speakers include:

·     Abra Kelson, MSW, LICSW

·     Caitlyn Graves, MSW, LSWA-IC

Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019

Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Location:  Puyallup United Methodist Church

                   1919 W Pioneer Ave, Puyallup, WA 98371

This is a free program, but registration is required. To register contact, Abra Kelson at (253) 200-3164,

Free Clinical Trials Workshop

This free workshop focuses on building awareness about clinical trials. People impacted by cancer and their loved ones are invited to join us as we learn how these trials are structured, and how to foster an open dialogue with their health care team about the eligibility and the viability of clinical trials as a treatment option. In addition, participants will learn about the importance of shared decision making and will be introduced to resources to help facilitate these conversations.

When: Monday, February 25, 2019 at 5:30 PM-7:00 PM

Where: Best Western Premier Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Georgian Conference Room
620 South Hill Park Drive, Puyallup, WA 98373

FEATURING: Rohan Sharma, MD

This Is A Free Program, but Registration Is Required. To Register Contact, Abra Kelson at: (253) 200-3164,