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Evidence-Based Protocols in Cancer Treatment Reduce Variation, Improve Efficacy and Safety of Care
Date:3/16/2010

FRANKLIN, Tenn., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- MedSolutions (www.medsolutions.com), a leading provider of medical cost management services, today announced the launch of its oncology management program, which uses evidence-based guidelines to ensure appropriate use of diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy and drugs for cancer patients.

"There is a vast and expanding body of research on cancer care, and doctors are understandably challenged to keep up with innovations in technology and best practices in treatment," said Gregg Allen, M.D., MedSolutions' chief medical officer. "This is further complicated by the number of new cancer cases in the U.S., which is estimated to grow by 45 percent over the next 20 years.(1) At this rate, the National Cancer Institute has estimated that the number of people treated for cancer will increase more rapidly than the overall population. The strain on our healthcare system will soon, quite literally, be overwhelming."

In response to these challenges, the MedSolutions program is designed to support treating physicians with guidance on the most current, evidence-based diagnostics and therapies to ensure that patients receive the most effective course of treatment. The goal of the program is to reduce variability in cancer treatment by focusing on proven approaches that are shown to improve quality, yield more predictable outcomes and ultimately lower the overall cost of care.

The launch of MedSolutions' oncology management program comes amid growing concern about the safety of cancer-related imaging and therapy. This concern has been voiced in the media and addressed in recent Congressional hearings to discuss stronger regulatory oversight of radiology and radiation oncology procedures following several high profile dosing errors.  

"While no program can completely eliminate the risks associated with radiation-based treatment, decision support initiatives that include facility assessments, such as those delivered by our program, can provide a valuable 'double check' for physicians and treatment teams," said Dr. Allen. "Our program helps assure that the prescribed treatment follows the latest, evidence-based clinical protocols for increased survival and quality of life while ensuring that services are delivered at quality facilities by qualified technicians to reduce the risk of preventable harm to patients."

MedSolutions' oncology management program uses evidence-based guidelines from national physician-led organizations such as the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the National Comprehensive Cancer Center Network, the American College of Radiology, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as highly trained oncology physicians, nurses and clinicians to review cancer therapies and treatment pathways.  

Additionally, MedSolutions' program offers access to trained oncology case management professionals. These case managers work closely with patients and their treatment teams to monitor adherence to and effectiveness of ongoing therapies and proactively manage chemotherapy side effects. The combined initiatives of MedSolutions' oncology management program help payors improve quality of care and reduce cancer-related costs by an estimated 20 percent while achieving more predictable outcomes.

"By educating physicians on the most effective course of treatment and supporting patient adherence to prescribed therapies, our program strives not only to improve quality of care and achieve more consistent clinical outcomes, but also to reduce ER visits, hospital readmissions, life-threatening exposure to unnecessary radiation, and the use of higher-cost drugs and therapies that are not shown to improve quality or efficacy, yet add billions of dollars to our nation's healthcare costs each year," said Dr. Allen.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in America. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 1.5 million new cancer cases are expected this year, accounting for an estimated $93.2 billion in direct medical expenditures.(2) Utilization of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and advanced imaging is expected to grow 33 percent, 45 percent and 59 percent respectively over the next 10 years(3) while spending on cancer medications continues to increase by an estimated 14 percent annually.(4)

About MedSolutions

Using independently validated savings methodologies, MedSolutions specializes in intelligent cost management of medical services for commercial, Medicare and Medicaid payors. The company maintains management contracts for 27 million individuals nationwide. Using robust data, predictive intelligence technology and clinical expertise, the company's innovative solutions extend beyond radiology management to other areas of medical specialty, including cardiology, oncology, ultrasound, emergency room and Premerus(SM) diagnostic accuracy. MedSolutions has been recognized three consecutive years for its call center operations by the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Award. Visit www.MedSolutions.com.

(1) Journal of Clinical Oncology, April 29, 2009

(2) American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2009

(3) Sg2 Analysis, 2009

(4) "Cancer Therapy Costs Influence Treatment: A National Survey Of Oncologists" Neumann et al. Health Affairs,  2010

SOURCE MedSolutions

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