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Oncologists Propose Plan To Slow Cancer Treatment Costs

04/08/13

  10:52:14 am, by MedBen5   , 320 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Oncologists Propose Plan To Slow Cancer Treatment Costs

In a New York Times opinion piece, “20 prominent members of the oncology community", noting that costs to treat cancer are rising faster than all other areas of medicine, offer a five-point plan to fix cancer care. We summarize their points below:

  1. Over the next few years, the payment system needs to move away from fee-for-service toward a system of bundled payments, in which doctors are paid one fee for all the treatments involved in caring for a cancer patient.
  2. Insurers have to give physicians information about where they are spending money. As crazy as it sounds, most physicians have little ability to track the care they deliver, or how they compare with other physicians who care for similar patients.
  3. Any change in payment methods must be accompanied by rigorous quality monitoring to ensure that there is neither under- nor over-utilization of care.
  4. We need more “high touch” oncology practices. In these practices, nurses manage common symptoms before they escalate to the point that they require visits to the emergency room, and doctors talk with patients about palliative-care services and end-of-life preferences early on – not in the weeks before death.
  5. We need better incentives for research. Many expensive tests and treatments are introduced without evidence that they improve survival or reduce side effects, and with poor information about which patients should receive them.

To ensure that patients diagnosed with cancer receive the correct treatment, MedBen, in partnership with Inventiv Medical Management, offers Oncology Care Management to member groups. This service results in the appropriate quality and cost of care while promoting positive patient outcomes.

Oncology Care Management works with your physician to ensure you’re receiving the proper level of treatment, and that your care is eligible for coverage under your health care plan. For more information about this and other care management services available through MedBen, contact Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

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