Aetna, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions Aim To Improve Quality, Costs Of Cancer Care In Michigan

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-- Evidence-Based Cancer Care Program Promotes Best Practices --

HARTFORD, Conn. and DUBLIN, Ohio, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions announced today an evidence-based program designed to improve cancer care in Michigan. It is available to Aetna network oncologists in the state who are represented by Physician Resource Management (PRM).

This pathways initiative identifies clinical practices that improve cancer treatment and make it more affordable.

"We're always working to make cancer care more effective for the patient," said Ira Klein, M.D., Aetna's lead oncology strategist and chief of staff to the chief medical officer. "Through this joint effort we help doctors make treatment decisions based on medical research and evidence. That leads to better patient outcomes."

Aetna's participation in this program aligns with a collaborative approach to cancer care that includes:

  • working with the medical community
  • applying evidenced-based medicine
  • delivering decision support
  • offering incentives for the delivery of quality, cost-effective care
  • sharing cost savings with participating doctors

"Our relationship with Aetna and PRM reinforces our commitment to working with local oncologists to find effective ways to provide better care for cancer patients," said Bonnie Kitson, vice president and general manager of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions.

A steering committee of state physicians has been formed to support the program. They will continue to update evidence-based treatment plans and supportive care plans for certain types of cancer.

"Physician engagement increases participation, improves pathway compliance and optimizes patient care," said Dr. Philip Stella, PRM president and member of the physician steering committee.

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions will give Aetna network doctors technology, tools and training to help them use the treatment pathways. Doctors can then track the program's key clinical outcomes.

Aetna and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions launched pathways programs in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia last year. A program was introduced in Florida earlier this year.

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.3 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 and health information technology services. Our 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 Physician Resource Management
Physician Resource Management is an innovative physician-owned organization that manages the business of oncology by providing resources, expertise, and customized solutions to promote quality, value, and optimal outcomes. As a physician-directed entity, PRM's mission is to assist in improving efficiency and success of oncology practices. PRM is focused exclusively on patient access to care, optimal quality care and moderating the high costs of oncology drugs for oncologists. PRM provides the leadership for pathways and payer projects for 211 oncologists from 35 practices and 11 hospital/healthcare systems.

About Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions
Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions provides clinical, reimbursement, technology and distribution services that help health care professionals, payers 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 #21 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.

SOURCE Cardinal Health