DUBLIN, Ohio, May 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A series of new clinical studies found that Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' Clinical Pathways program sharply reduces the cost of cancer treatment, improves clinical care and shows promise for guiding treatment of other high-cost, complex diseases beyond cancer.
The five studies will be featured in early June at two prominent medical meetings, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) annual meeting in Montreal.
Several of the studies found that the ability of the company's Clinical Pathways to significantly reduce cancer treatment costs while improving clinical care – first reported at ASCO's annual meeting last year – could in fact be replicated, when implemented by other payers and different sets of physicians and patients, in varying geographic areas.
One of the 2014 studies reported an 18.3% decrease in chemotherapy costs when physicians participated in the Clinical Pathways program. An earlier study, released by the company just last year, found a 15% decline. In both studies, patient outcomes were similar or better than those of a control group. For example, participating payers report that that their members experience shorter hospital stays and fewer emergency room visits, which reduced total treatment costs.
Dr. Bruce Feinberg, chief medical officer and vice president of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, said the new studies show the company's Clinical Pathways are delivering the "trifecta of improved outcomes – reduced costs for payers, appropriate, aligned physician reimbursement and, most importantly, better quality of care for patients."
Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' Clinical Pathways are physician-led programs that establish best practice treatment protocols for specific disease states. Studies of the company's Clinical Pathways programs have found that physician reimbursement can remain neutral or actually increase – while total treatment costs fall – when its Clinical Pathways are effectively implemented.
Feinberg says that working with payers to develop incentives to encourage physicians to participate in the programs – and to develop new payment models that reimburse physicians for delivering cognitive services and quality care – are keys to the success of the program.
"It's a win-win-win paradigm," Feinberg says. "Every stakeholder involved in the healthcare process can benefit."
Another of this year's most promising studies also found that the company's Clinical Pathways program reduced treatment costs while improving quality of care for rheumatoid arthritis patients. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, one of the largest insurers in the Mid-Atlantic, reported substantial cost savings, while obtaining clinically equivalent results, by having physicians establish an evidence-based algorithm to guide drug treatments, and by incorporating that algorithm into Clinical Pathways.
In Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' Clinical Pathways model, local, physician-led teams establish evidence-based treatment protocols for their practices and networks. Participation is voluntary, but physicians are encouraged and usually incented to follow the pathways, which are monitored and frequently updated to reflect the most recent, up-to-date clinical evidence.
The goal is to make the treatment of complex, high-cost diseases as cost effective as possible by empowering physicians to consistently follow the best clinical evidence, and by reducing unnecessary or less effective treatments, thereby lowering total costs and improving clinical outcomes.
"As medicine grows more targeted, more precise and often times, more costly, all players in the healthcare system are increasingly focused on ensuring the right patients receive the best, most targeted and clinically proven medicine, at the right time," said Meghan FitzGerald, president, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions. "This new body of research proves that our innovative approach to encouraging collaboration among multiple stakeholders can achieve those goals – while reducing unnecessary costs and ensuring physicians are fairly reimbursed for delivering the best possible care to patients."
Attendees of the ASCO and ISPOR meetings can learn more by attending one of the poster presentations (times listed below), or by visiting Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' booth locations – Booth #5027 at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting, or booth #146 at the 2014 ISPOR Annual International Meeting. Click here for full abstracts of the company's research being featured at ASCO and ISPOR. Research titles and abstract numbers are included here as an addendum.
About Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions
Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions provides clinical, reimbursement, technology and distribution services that help health care professionals, payers and pharmaceutical and biotech companies improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of caring for patients who are managing complex diseases. Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions helps customers alleviate day-to-day administrative burdens, optimize business functions and partner to implement new innovations that move their businesses forward. To learn more, visit www.cardinalhealth.com/specialtysolutions.
About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $101 billion health care services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of health care. As the business behind health care, Cardinal Health helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Cardinal Health is an essential link in the health care supply chain, providing pharmaceuticals and medical products and services to more than 100,000 locations each day and is also the industry-leading direct-to-home medical supplies distributor. The company is a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company operates the nation's largest network of radiopharmacies that dispense products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #19 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs 33,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at www.cardinalhealth.com and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.
News Release Addendum
Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions research at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting: May 30-June 2, 2014 at McCormick Place, Chicago, Ill.
Title: Cancer Cost Evaluation in Chemotherapy (Chemo)-Naive Patients (Pts) Treated Under a Payer-Sponsored Pathway Program (Abstract #6562; Poster Board #25) Poster Session Times: Monday, June 2, 2014, 1:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Authors: Bruce A. Feinberg, Janna Radtchenko, Tim Olson
Title: Savings Impact of a Second-to-Market Oncology Pathway (Abstract #e17538) Authors: Michael A. Kolodziej, Ira Klein, Tim Olson, David Garofalo, Amy Supraner, Maria Sipala, Bruce A. Feinberg
Title: Oncology Clinical Pathway: Adoption of a Web-Based Decision Support Tool (Abstract #e17542) Authors: Bruce A. Feinberg, Jason Drenning, Tim Olson
Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions research at the ISPOR Annual International Meeting May 31-June 4, 2014 at Palais des Congres de Montreal, Montreal, QC
Title: Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathway Program Impact on Patterns of Care (Abstract #36217; Poster #PHS170) Poster Author Discussion Hour Times: Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Authors: Bruce A. Feinberg, Tim Olson, Alan K. Matsumoto, Herbert S. Baraf, Philip B. Miller, Daniel Winn
Title: Impact of a Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathway on Cost of Care (Abstract #36531; Poster #PHS79) Poster Author Discussion Hour Times: Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Authors: Bruce A. Feinberg, Tim Olson, Alan K. Matsumoto, Herbert S. Baraf, Philip B. Miller, Daniel Winn
Click here for full abstracts of research being featured at ASCO and ISPOR.
SOURCE Cardinal Health