Improving Treatment Requires Collaboration and Transparency

For physicians to make better treatment decisions, they need real-time, relevant information, states Andrew Pecora, MD. Claims data have limited use, since it is extremely difficult to determine clinical subsets, adds Michael Kolodziej, MD. To help improve decision-making, analytical tools built on robust data are needed.

In order to accomplish this, there first needs to be collaboration and transparency regarding the clinical subsets and cost structure. When a change is made to the system, there needs to be a way to measure the impact of that change, Kolodziej adds.

Transparency and collaboration are critical, agrees Jeffrey C. Ward, MD. Using WellPoint’s Pathways project as an example, he suggests that it is important for oncologists to understand the successes and failures of the programs being implemented. Whereas oncologists have historically viewed the pharmaceutical industry as its partner in patient care, this has not been the case with payers.

Developing partnerships between practices and payers is a good way to test the validity of different models. Also, in order to learn and to make appropriate changes, the information needs to be shared.

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