The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) value framework essentially calls for accountability and transparency, which are qualities that are beneficial to providing complete care for patients and to improving positive patient outcomes.
At Therigy, we see evidence of this trend in our consulting and technology sections. Helping healthcare stakeholders track adherence and outcomes in ways that can be easily measured and reported on will be a primary focus for us in the next 5 years.
The main opportunities and challenges arising from these ASCO recommendations are:
- The ASCO value framework is centered on evidence-based, appropriate-use criteria that oncology care providers can use to discuss viable treatment options for individual patients as part of an overall treatment plan. Many patients feel overwhelmed by the treatment options they face as well as by the cancer diagnosis itself. Informing and educating patients by giving them the facts (ie, measurable data) about their options enable them to become a partner in their treatment plan, which should improve patient adherence and outcomes
- Oncology care providers using the ASCO value framework have a better idea of the total cost of care, and can better communicate the expected out-of-pocket expenses to the patient. Costs should be considered when setting up a treatment plan, but coordinating this complex information can be cumbersome for providers and for pharmacy staff. Therigy is developing systems to support integrated settings that track and manage the complete patient journey (from benefit investigation through therapy management) for patients who require specialty pharmacy medications. We appreciate that the ASCO proposed payment reform moves toward an integrated care model that lets patients benefit from early intervention and the enhanced management of treatment complications
- Oncology care providers are accountable for providing high-quality, evidence-based care that helps patients avoid treatment complications requiring emergency department visits and hospital admissions that would lead to additional out-of-pocket costs for the patient
- The main challenge with the ASCO framework involves the changes regarding the payment model and how revenue is actualized, which could prove challenging to providers as a whole. It will require training and understanding, and providers will need to take the initiative to ensure that they are aware of what is happening, and the impact that these changes will have on their businesses
- Education is key to understanding and finding ways to implement new business practices to be better prepared for what lies ahead.