To improve quality and contain rising costs in cancer care, CareCore National and D3, an affiliate of UPMC, have formed a new company to accelerate implementation of cancer care pathways.
"Cancer care requires a different approach to cost and quality management than the models typically used in health care. The path to continuing quality improvement and sustainable cost control in cancer care is to change the patient care process at the point of care," said Richard Weininger, M.D., medical director for oncology services at CareCore. "UPMC’s pathways have been proven to reduce unwarranted variability in care at UPMC Cancer Centers and the other oncology groups that have adopted them. They fit perfectly with the CareCore approach to evaluating, supporting and managing episodes of care as distinct from individual services."
UPMC’s cancer care pathways were developed over the past five years by UPMC and are regularly updated by oncologists who have adopted them in Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida and New Jersey. Sixteen disease-specific committees of academic and community-based physicians review and update the pathways on a quarterly basis, based on their evaluation of the latest clinical literature. Through this effort, a single, best treatment is identified for approximately 80 percent of patient presentations. These treatments are based upon reviewing the research first for the most effective, then the least toxic and, finally, all other factors being equal, the most cost-effective option.
"By standardizing care and driving to the best, evidence-based treatments, we’ve been able to demonstrate not only better care, but also a reduction in the total cost of care compared to practices without the pathways," noted Peter Ellis, M.D., medical director for the UPMC pathways program and a practicing medical oncologist at UPMC Cancer Centers.
PathForward Oncology is expected to begin operations in the first quarter of 2011.
SOURCE CareCore National, LLC