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Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, Health Alliance Plan Work With Michigan Oncologists to Improve Quality, Curb Costs of Cancer Care
Date:9/11/2012

DETROIT and DUBLIN, Ohio, Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and Physician Resource Management today announced the launch of an evidence-based clinical pathways  program to improve the quality and curb the costs of cancer care for patients in Michigan.

"As the number of U.S. patients who are diagnosed with cancer is projected to increase by approximately 45 percent between 2010 and 2030[1], we're committed to partnering with community oncologists and innovative insurance companies like HAP to develop new models for delivering highly effective, well coordinated cancer care," said Dr. Bruce Feinberg, vice president and chief medical officer, Oncology, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions. "Physician-driven clinical pathways programs like this one can play an integral role in defining a more sustainable model for caring for patients with cancer, by increasing the quality, consistency and predictability of the care they receive." 

As part of this clinical pathways program, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions will work in partnership with a steering committee of local oncologists who contract with HAP to identify evidence-based treatment regimens (also referred to as clinical pathways) for breast, lung and colon cancers. Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions will then help more than 200 medical oncologists in the HAP provider network to continually update and consistently use these clinical pathways.

"I believe it's critical for oncologists, patients and payers to work together to develop a balanced set of quality and financial outcome goals that improve cancer care," said Dr. Phillip Stella, president of Physician Resource Management, which represents more than 70 Michigan oncology practices. Dr. Stella, who also serves on the physician steering committee for this pathways initiative, continued, "We're looking forward to participating in this new program because we believe it will enable us to effectively advance an innovative, new care delivery model into new markets and provide quality care to a broader group of patients."

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions will provide proprietary technology, tools, educational programs and training to help doctors within the HAP provider 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.

"This new initiative uses medical evidence to make it easier and more convenient than ever for physicians to identify the safest and most efficacious, tolerable treatment regimens for our HAP members who are undergoing cancer treatment," said Dr. John Calabria, Medical Director of HAP, which provides health coverage to more than 640,000 members. "The Clinical Pathways program enables oncologists to develop their own clinical pathways with no prior authorization requirements, and we're enriching the fee schedule to provide enhanced reimbursement for physicians who participate. We view this as an important step in building collaborative relationships with the oncology community – focused on implementing sustainable solutions to today's most significant healthcare challenges."

About Physician Resource Management (PRM)

Physician Resource Management is an innovative management services organization with more than 210 oncologists representing over 70 Michigan oncology practices. PRM's mission is to assist independent oncology practices provide optimal care to their patients, steward health-care resources appropriately, and remain financially viable in a volatile and challenging health care environment. 

About Health Alliance Plan (HAP)

Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to more than 640,000 members and companies of all sizes. For more than 50 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to improve the health and well-being of the lives we touch. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid, Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP delivers award-winning preventive services, disease management, wellness programs and personalized customer service. The National Committee for Quality Assurance awarded HAP's commercial HMO and HAP Senior Plus Excellent Accreditation. Learn more at hap.org.  

About Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions provides clinical, reimbursement, technology and distribution services that help health care professionals, payors 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 $108 billion healthcare 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 cardinalhealth.com and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.

[1] Future of Cancer Incidence in the United States: Burdens Upon an Aging, Changing Nation; Benjamin D. Smith, Grace L. Smith, Arti Hurria, Gabrial N. Hortobagyi, Thomas A. Buchholz; Journal of Clinical Oncology; 2009.


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