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Article: Physicians, not payers, should develop cancer-care ‘pathways’



This piece in JAMA Oncology says that physicians — not payers — should be in charge of designing cancer-care “pathways” to save money and, hopefully, improve care.

Payers are  looking to cancer care to test payment-reform initiatives.

Blase N. Polite, M.D., Ray D. Page, D.O.,  and Chadi Nabhan, M.D. noted mounting evidence that using oncology pathways can reduce spending on chemotherapy patients.

But they argued that clinicians, not payers, should be in charge of developing oncology pathways while noting that a completely unregulated pathway environment would be ”ineffective at best and unnecessarily burdensome at worst.”

Thus they propose the creation of flexible criteria similar to what the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services uses for its Qualified Clinical Data Registry Reporting, with various stakeholders–including payers, physicians and patient advocates–determining¬† criteria. If a pathway meets threshold criteria, all public and private payers would be required to accept it.


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