The program promotes an evidence-based approach and nurse support to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of cancer care
HARTFORD, Conn. & THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Aetna and The US Oncology Network announced that all Aetna Medicare Advantage members in Texas now have access to the Innovent Oncology program at Texas Oncology, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network. The program helps doctors more effectively use clinically proven care guidelines and provides members with nurse support throughout treatment, including outreach between treatment visits when complications are most likely to occur. The combination helps cancer patients receive effective, safe treatment with reduced side effects and lower overall costs.
“We are pleased to offer the Innovent Oncology program to our Medicare Advantage members,” said Randall Krakauer, M.D., national medical director, Aetna Medicare. “Often, patients are managing cancer along with other chronic conditions. We want our members to have access to the clinical effective treatments and personalized support to help them and their caregivers throughout treatment.”
Innovent Oncology, part of McKesson Specialty Health, draws upon the expertise and resources of The US Oncology Network. Results from a two-year pilot of the Innovent program, conducted at Texas Oncology among Aetna’s commercial health plan members, show the program’s potential:
Members in the program had the same or better health outcomes compared to members who were not part of the program.
The program effectively decreased emergency room (ER) visits by 39.8 percent, decreased hospital admissions by 16.5 percent and reduced the number of hospital days by 35.9 percent among 184 enrolled members.
The program resulted in approximately 12 percent cost savings among patients with lung, breast and colorectal cancers alone.
“We are addressing key drivers in quality patient care, which are also key drivers in the cost of cancer care. By combining treatments proven by science to be the most effective, with patient support and quality of life discussions, we believe we can improve cancer care,” said Russell Hoverman, M.D., medical director of Innovent Oncology for The US Oncology Network and lead physician of Innovent Oncology for Texas Oncology.
Three key program elements: evidence, technology and collaboration
The Innovent Oncology program is centered on Level I Pathways
Editor’s Note: McKesson Specialty Health and The US Oncology Network have engaged in a new relationship with National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN) to expand the use of Level I Pathways. Going forward, Level I Pathways will become known as Value Pathways powered by NCCN®.. These pathways, or treatment guidelines, are developed by doctors and other clinical experts affiliated with The US Oncology Network. They redirect the wide range of treatments into more precise, scientifically proven options that optimize outcomes and minimize side effects.
Health information connectivity gives doctors electronic access to guidelines and other decision-support resources while they meet with patients, at the point of care.
Finally, oncologists, Innovent Oncology nurses, and Aetna care management team members collaborate to provide patients with support from the first scheduled treatment throughout the course of therapy. Innovent Oncology’s oncology-certified nurses help patients and caregivers understand and manage cancer-related symptoms and treatment side effects, including pain and depression. Early in the course of treatment, patients are introduced to advance care planning to help them define quality of life throughout treatment, including their wishes regarding end-of-life planning and support, should those hard decisions become necessary.
Texas Oncology physicians will participate in the program that is available to more than 100,000 Aetna Medicare Advantage members in Texas. Texas Oncology has more than 350 physicians throughout Texas.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.
About The US Oncology Network
The US Oncology Network is one of the nation’s largest network of integrated, community-based oncology practices dedicated to advancing high-quality, evidence-based cancer care. A physician-led organization, The US Oncology Network unites like-minded physicians and clinicians around a common vision of improving patient outcomes and quality of life. Leveraging healthcare information technology, shared best practices, evidence-based guidelines and quality measurements, physicians within The US Oncology Network are pioneering new ways to achieve this vision. The US Oncology Network is committed to strengthening patient access to integrated care in local communities across the nation, including collaboration with a variety of payers, hospitals and academic institutions. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health, a division of McKesson Corporation focused on empowering a vibrant and sustainable community patient care delivery system. For more information, visit www.usoncology.com.
About Texas Oncology
Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment and therapy options available to help patients achieve “More breakthroughs. More victories.”® in their fights against cancer. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern Oklahoma. Texas Breast Specialists and Texas Urology Specialists, which focus on all areas of breast and urologic care, are a part of Texas Oncology.
Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. Texas Oncology participates in innovative clinical trials from Phase I through Phase IV through US Oncology Research, which has helped to develop 46 FDA approved cancer therapies.
Texas Oncology is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest networks of integrated community-based oncology practices dedicated to advancing high-quality, evidence-based cancer care. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, Texas Oncology is united with nearly 1,000 physicians nationwide. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health.
For more information, visit www.TexasOncology.com or call 1-888-864-I CAN (4226).