CareFirst Launches Quality Oncology Disease Management Program

Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from CareFirst, Inc.

    BALTIMORE, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Quality Oncology has been contracted by
 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to introduce a disease management program for
 adult members battling cancer.
     "Quality Oncology is the largest and most established cancer care
 management program of its kind, and the only one with a history of proven
 results," noted Edmund C. Bujalski, CEO of LifeMetrix, Quality Oncology's
 parent company.  "We are delighted that CareFirst has selected the Quality
 Oncology program for its members.  CareFirst has demonstrated a strong
 commitment to bringing a sophisticated approach to delivering care to its
 members afflicted with cancer, clearly establishing quality of services as a
 priority."
     Eric Baugh, CareFirst's Sr. Vice President, Medical Affairs, explained the
 program's need this way:  "When faced with a cancer diagnosis, patients and
 their families have many choices and decisions to make.  Understanding the
 delivery of medical care can become confusing and frustrating.  Quality
 Oncology can help patients navigate the often complex and challenging maze of
 cancer treatment.
     "CareFirst's and Quality Oncology's Cancer Care Team program seeks to
 ensure the best possible outcomes for members with cancer using evidence-based
 treatment guidelines and an enhanced patient support network of seasoned
 oncology nurses from Quality Oncology," Dr. Baugh said.  Under the direction
 of CareFirst's Medical Affairs Division, Quality Oncology will work directly
 with eligible CareFirst members and their physicians to offer patients support
 and encourage compliance with treatment plans.
     CareFirst's Quality Improvement Medical Director, Jon Shematek, MD,
 pointed out:  "Our new cancer program represents what is exceptionally good
 about care management:  empowering patients who need more information on their
 care, while supporting physicians in the community with accurate and timely
 data about their patients."
     The cancer program begins April 2, 2001 and approximately 1,000 CareFirst
 patients are expected to receive services in the first year.  Participation in
 this program is voluntary, confidential and provided at no additional cost to
 the patient.  CareFirst members enrolled in the Cancer Care Team program are
 assigned to a Quality Oncology nurse who monitors their progress in
 conjunction with the treating physician's care plan.  Quality Oncology nurses
 are available 24 hours a day for patients seeking clear and concise
 information about their care.  They provide information to patients and their
 families regarding chemotherapy and radiation therapy, pain management, and
 other concerns and can assist with facilitating arrangements for pharmacy
 benefits, home health, hospice, and other services provided under their health
 benefit plan and available in the community.
     "It is our goal to have Quality Oncology involved as early in the
 treatment as possible to help coordinate and facilitate cancer-related
 services for CareFirst patients," said Tad Dadisman, Jr., MD, Medical
 Director, Preventive Medicine and Health Education.  "The overall aim of this
 program is to assist physicians in effectively managing disease progression.
 
     Quality Oncology, founded in 1993, has been serving health care payers
 since 1996 with its cancer treatment support programs.  LifeMetrix acquired
 Quality Oncology in 1998.  QO employs oncology nurses and oncologists to
 assist patients and providers in a systematic care coordination process
 through what can often be a complex and generally unconnected series of
 contacts with physicians, hospitals and other health care providers for cancer
 treatment.
 
     CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is a not-for-profit health insurance
 company which, along with its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a
 comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products, direct health care and
 administrative services to 3 million individuals and groups in Northern
 Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Delaware.
 
     LifeMetrix (www.lifemetrix.com) currently operates through three wholly
 owned subsidiaries: Quality Oncology, Inc., LifeMetrix Systems, Inc.; and
 LifeMetrix Online, Inc. (www.cancerpage.com).  LifeMetrix provides Web-based
 systems to health plans and at-risk groups for case and chronic care
 management; full service cancer care management programs; database management
 services; a proprietary clinical trial matching capability and a Web site
 delivering high quality clinical and lifestyle information for cancer patients
 and their families.
 
 

SOURCE CareFirst, Inc.
    BALTIMORE, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Quality Oncology has been contracted by
 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to introduce a disease management program for
 adult members battling cancer.
     "Quality Oncology is the largest and most established cancer care
 management program of its kind, and the only one with a history of proven
 results," noted Edmund C. Bujalski, CEO of LifeMetrix, Quality Oncology's
 parent company.  "We are delighted that CareFirst has selected the Quality
 Oncology program for its members.  CareFirst has demonstrated a strong
 commitment to bringing a sophisticated approach to delivering care to its
 members afflicted with cancer, clearly establishing quality of services as a
 priority."
     Eric Baugh, CareFirst's Sr. Vice President, Medical Affairs, explained the
 program's need this way:  "When faced with a cancer diagnosis, patients and
 their families have many choices and decisions to make.  Understanding the
 delivery of medical care can become confusing and frustrating.  Quality
 Oncology can help patients navigate the often complex and challenging maze of
 cancer treatment.
     "CareFirst's and Quality Oncology's Cancer Care Team program seeks to
 ensure the best possible outcomes for members with cancer using evidence-based
 treatment guidelines and an enhanced patient support network of seasoned
 oncology nurses from Quality Oncology," Dr. Baugh said.  Under the direction
 of CareFirst's Medical Affairs Division, Quality Oncology will work directly
 with eligible CareFirst members and their physicians to offer patients support
 and encourage compliance with treatment plans.
     CareFirst's Quality Improvement Medical Director, Jon Shematek, MD,
 pointed out:  "Our new cancer program represents what is exceptionally good
 about care management:  empowering patients who need more information on their
 care, while supporting physicians in the community with accurate and timely
 data about their patients."
     The cancer program begins April 2, 2001 and approximately 1,000 CareFirst
 patients are expected to receive services in the first year.  Participation in
 this program is voluntary, confidential and provided at no additional cost to
 the patient.  CareFirst members enrolled in the Cancer Care Team program are
 assigned to a Quality Oncology nurse who monitors their progress in
 conjunction with the treating physician's care plan.  Quality Oncology nurses
 are available 24 hours a day for patients seeking clear and concise
 information about their care.  They provide information to patients and their
 families regarding chemotherapy and radiation therapy, pain management, and
 other concerns and can assist with facilitating arrangements for pharmacy
 benefits, home health, hospice, and other services provided under their health
 benefit plan and available in the community.
     "It is our goal to have Quality Oncology involved as early in the
 treatment as possible to help coordinate and facilitate cancer-related
 services for CareFirst patients," said Tad Dadisman, Jr., MD, Medical
 Director, Preventive Medicine and Health Education.  "The overall aim of this
 program is to assist physicians in effectively managing disease progression.
 
     Quality Oncology, founded in 1993, has been serving health care payers
 since 1996 with its cancer treatment support programs.  LifeMetrix acquired
 Quality Oncology in 1998.  QO employs oncology nurses and oncologists to
 assist patients and providers in a systematic care coordination process
 through what can often be a complex and generally unconnected series of
 contacts with physicians, hospitals and other health care providers for cancer
 treatment.
 
     CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is a not-for-profit health insurance
 company which, along with its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a
 comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products, direct health care and
 administrative services to 3 million individuals and groups in Northern
 Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Delaware.
 
     LifeMetrix (www.lifemetrix.com) currently operates through three wholly
 owned subsidiaries: Quality Oncology, Inc., LifeMetrix Systems, Inc.; and
 LifeMetrix Online, Inc. (www.cancerpage.com).  LifeMetrix provides Web-based
 systems to health plans and at-risk groups for case and chronic care
 management; full service cancer care management programs; database management
 services; a proprietary clinical trial matching capability and a Web site
 delivering high quality clinical and lifestyle information for cancer patients
 and their families.
 
 SOURCE  CareFirst, Inc.