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AHIP Medicaid Summit 2013: Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions Chief Medical Officer Says Collaboration, New Delivery Models Are Key To Bending The Cost Curve In Cancer Care

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As Medicare and Medicaid brace for a continued influx of beneficiaries – many of whom are older and more likely to have chronic conditions including cancer – all players across the continuum of care need to work together, now, to implement innovative new care delivery models that can improve the predictability and quality of care, while driving down costs.

That's the key message Bruce Feinberg, D.O., chief medical officer for Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, will deliver at the Association of Health Insurance Plans' (AHIP)  Medicaid Summit taking place Sept. 25-26 in Washington, D.C., in his session entitled "Managing Oncology in Medicaid Populations."

Feinberg maintains that although Medicaid has historically, primarily served young women and children, the Affordable Care Act is likely to alter those demographics, expanding Medicaid coverage to a much larger number of Americans than ever before. Feinberg asserts that with that shift in Medicaid demographics will also likely come an increase in Medicaid spending to treat cancer and other chronic diseases.

Feinberg's session will provide a comprehensive overview of critical elements and considerations for managing cancer in Medicaid populations. He will explore the differences between Medicaid and commercial populations, including shifts in disease prevalence, innovative uses of specialty pharmacy delivery programs, and physician use of decision support technology.

Feinberg will also discuss how:
  • The integration of specialty pharmacy services into a clinical pathways program can reduce costs, improve quality and provide more comprehensive oncology management.
  • Clinical pathways programs can help migrate cancer care from hospital settings to more cost-efficient community settings; reduce emergency room visits and other avoidable hospitalizations; decrease cancer care variability and increase quality.
  • Providing physicians with access to a specialty pharmacy program can help to improve the acquisition price for medications, improve service and reliability for drug replacement and reduce administrative burdens related to prior authorization.

"The Affordable Care Act and other factors are leading to more people being treated for cancer and other chronic diseases, for a longer period, with more expensive medications, in more expensive sites of care. These trends have created the need for dramatic changes in the way health care is delivered in this country," said Feinberg. "Collaboration is needed – across the continuum of care – to avoid unnecessary care, to align incentives, to deliver care in the most cost-effective setting and to become more predictive about how care will be delivered. Only by working together to address these issues can we create a more sustainable health care delivery system."

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