Keystone Mercy Health Plan, P4 Healthcare Help Community Oncologists Extend Quality Cancer Care to Underserved Populations in Pennsylvania

Sep 08, 2011, 08:30 ET from Cardinal Health

PHILADELPHIA and DUBLIN, Ohio, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Companies Partner with Network Physicians to Leverage Evidence-based Best Practices to Improve Quality, Reduce Costs of Cancer Care

Keystone Mercy Health Plan and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' P4 Healthcare business today announced the launch of an evidence-based program to improve cancer care for Medicaid patients in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

P4 Healthcare is part of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, which provides clinical, reimbursement and distribution services to help healthcare providers, payors and pharmaceutical manufacturers deliver quality, cost-effective care to patients with complex diseases.

Keystone Mercy is a Medical Assistance (Medicaid) managed care health plan, serving more than 300,000 members in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia.

P4 Healthcare has developed a steering committee, comprised of local oncologists who participate in Keystone Mercy's network, to identify evidence-based treatment regimens, or clinical pathways, for delivering the best possible patient care for breast, lung, and colon cancers.  P4 Healthcare is helping 90 oncologists within the Keystone Mercy network to consistently use these best clinical practices to improve cancer treatment and costs.  

Keystone Mercy will share related cost savings – created by improved patient outcomes and the reduction of unnecessary costs – with participating physicians.

"It's exciting to be part of this innovative effort, where P4 Healthcare and Keystone Mercy are directly involving physicians to collaboratively identify ways to control costs while still delivering high quality care," said William Biermann, M.D., Cantor Biermann Fellin & Associates. "This approach demonstrates that the payor-physician relationship can be collaborative instead of confrontational, and that when various stakeholders in the healthcare system work together cooperatively, we can improve the way we care for patients."

As part of this pathways program, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' specialty pharmacy, OncoSourceRx, will also dramatically simplify the way physicians get reimbursed for dispensing chemotherapy and other specialty medications to patients. This service will reduce the amount of time physicians spend on administrative and other non-clinical tasks.

"Our partnership with P4 Healthcare is a win for all of the constituents we serve," said Eric Berman, chief medical officer for Keystone Mercy. "It's helping us improve collaboration with physicians and improve the quality of care for patients while also reducing overall costs for the broader healthcare system."

P4 Healthcare is also providing proprietary technology, tools, educational programs and training to help doctors within the Keystone Mercy network implement and monitor use of the treatment pathways. These tools also capture clinical results and track cost savings of the program – without additional administrative work.

"Keystone Mercy is the nation's first Medicaid managed care health plan to implement a clinical pathways program, and we're excited to support Keystone and its member physicians in their shared mission to provide quality, cost-effective cancer care to patients," said Bruce Feinberg, vice president and chief medical officer of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' P4 Healthcare business.

About Keystone Mercy Health Plan

Keystone Mercy Health Plan, a member of the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, is a Medical Assistance (Medicaid) managed care health plan serving more than 300,000 Medical Assistance recipients in southeastern Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Keystone Mercy is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping members get care, stay well and build healthy communities. For more information about Keystone Mercy Health Plan, please visit

About Cardinal Health

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $103 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 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 to more than 60,000 locations each day. The company is also a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company supports the growing diagnostic industry by supplying medical products to clinical laboratories and operating 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 more than 30,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.

SOURCE Cardinal Health