New Collaborative Advance Care Planning Program for Patients with Cancer Enhances Quality while Mitigating Costs
The cancer care landscape is rapidly evolving, in light of promising new therapies, as well as changing reimbursement strategies in response to the healthcare reform. With the cost of some cancer drugs exceeding $100,000 annually, and with patients living longer, cancer care consumes a large portion of healthcare dollars.
As we move forward in the scheme of healthcare reform, we are being directed toward an integrated care model, one with high quality and economic efficiency. Recently, a model known as an accountable care organization (ACO) was introduced by the US Department of Health and Human Services in the form of a proposed rule open for public comment.
Ongoing efforts to screen asymptomatic persons for pancreatic cancer have been unsuccessful, but targeting persons at high risk for the disease appears to be clinically effective as well as cost-effective.
Researchers have combined the use of a serum biomarker, CA 19-9, and endoscopic ultrasonography to create a screening protocol for persons at risk for the malignancy on the basis of family history and age and reported their results in the July issue of Gastro - intestinal Endoscopy (Zubarik R, et al. Gastrointest Endosc. 2011;74:87-95).
Most professional guidelines now recommend screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in essentially all patients receiving chemotherapy, but it is seldom performed and is not cost-effective in patients with solid (nonhematologic) tumors, according to studies presented at ASCO 2011.
Philadelphia, PA—The field of oncology stands to benefit greatly from molecular diagnostic trends, according to Jane F. Barlow, MD, MPH, MBA, Vice President, Clinical Innovation, Medco Health Solutions, who offered a pharmacy benefit manager’s (PBM) perspective of the role of diagnostics, including the use of companion tests in drug development. These companion tests will represent another potential expenditure and coverage decision for PBM companies.
Philadelphia, PA—Implementing path - ways to sustain community oncology and offering additional nursing and care management models are recent strategies being adopted by various practices and payers to reduce the medical and pharmacy costs in cancer management and improve the quality of care.
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