In 2011 we find ourselves in the midst of a “perfect storm” as it relates to cancer care in the United States. More people are being diagnosed with cancer, more patients are living longer with cancer, and the cost of caring for cancer is rising dramatically.
Philadelphia, PA—The “one-size-fitsall” approach to current benefit designs does not recognize that health services have different levels of value; such an approach, therefore, lacks incentives for patients to adhere to diagnostic tests and treatments with proven effectiveness that may help to contain costs to various healthcare stakeholders.

Philadelphia, PA—As the cost of cancer care continues to rise, payers are struggling with solutions to curtail the cost trend while maintaining value. This was the topic of the preconference session, which opened the 2-day First Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care on March 29, 2011.

Philadelphia, PA—The field of oncology stands to benefit greatly from molecular diagnostic trends, according to Jane F. Barlow, MD, MPH, MBA, Vice President, Clinical Innovation, Medco Health Solutions, who offered a pharmacy benefit manager’s (PBM) perspective of the role of diagnostics, including the use of companion tests in drug development. These companion tests will represent another potential expenditure and coverage decision for PBM companies.

Philadelphia, PA—Third-party oncology benefits management, tiered networks, and accountable care organizations (ACOs) are some of the trends gaining traction in the health insurance industry, according to Donald Liss, MD, Senior Medical Director, Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia, who described cancer care from a large insurer’s perspective.

Philadelphia, PA—The National Com - prehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is an alliance of academic cancer centers in the United States that seeks to optimize decision-making and policies for improving the delivery of appropriate and effective cancer care.
Q: Are you concerned about the growing trend of payers demanding increased concordance with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines?

Philadelphia, PA—The age of personalized cancer therapies is upon us. In oncology, personalized medicine encompasses the use of tests to determine the genes and gene interactions that can reliably predict an individual’s response to therapy or the chance of disease recurrence. The use of molecular diagnostic testing that provides the genomic profile of an individual’s tumor facilitates an understanding of some specific tumors that allows the selection of a treatment most likely to induce a response in that patient.

Philadelphia, PA—The new biologic therapy eribulin (Halaven) was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. Stephen C. Malamud, MD, Attending Physician, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City, discussed the benefits and risks associated with this new treatment option at a special session during the meeting.

Philadelphia, PA—Changes in oncology reimbursement have driven the consolidation of community oncology practices, as more of these practices are being squeezed financially, according to Ted Okon, BS, MBA, Executive Director, Community Oncology Alliance. Consoli dation decreases alternatives, and that means reduced competition, as many oncologists lose their practices.

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