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Healthcare Business News

Aetna aims for accountable cancer care in Mich.

By Beth Kutscher
Posted: December 11, 2012 - 11:15 am ET

Aetna, Hartford, Conn., is introducing a program in Michigan that aims to reduce costs and improve outcomes in oncology treatment.

The insurer is partnering again with Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, Dublin, Ohio, on its latest "pathways" initiative. The program will be available to in-network oncologists who are part of Physician Resource Management, a doctor-owned consulting group for oncology practices.

Aetna and Cardinal Health earlier this year introduced a pathways program in Florida. They also introduced similar initiatives last year in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

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Other providers also have tried to extract cost savings from cancer care. In May, Baptist Health South Florida announced that it was partnering with Advanced Medical Specialties and insurer Florida Blue to set up an accountable care organization specifically for cancer treatment.

Aetna's program offers incentives to physicians for providing high-quality, cost-effective care and shares costs savings with clinicians. It calls for a steering committee of Michigan physicians to provide evidence-based treatment and supportive care plans for patients.

Physicians will be able to track the program's clinical outcomes through tools provided by Cardinal Health. Cardinal will also provide the training and technology necessary for participation in the program.

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