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Aetna, P4 Healthcare to expand cancer care collaboration

Aetna and P4 Healthcare, a division of Cardinal Health, have announced an expansion of its evidence-based program to improve care by identifying and promoting best practices in the treatment of certain types of cancer.

The collaboration, originally launched in February in Florida and Maryland, will now be introduced in Georgia, Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C., metro area. Aetna provides health benefits to more than 1 million members in those market areas.

[See also:Virginia's Carilion Clinic and Aetna to form an ACO; Innovent Oncology teams with Milliman to develop oncology risk models]

"We can improve cancer care and make it safer, more effective and more affordable for our members," said Robert Kropp, MD, regional medical director for Aetna's southeast region. "Our collaboration with P4 Healthcare has produced promising early results in Maryland and Florida. The P4 Healthcare program helps us work with local doctors at the point of care on treatment plans that result in better patient outcomes, often with lower costs."

To help manage the programs, Aetna and P4 will establish regional committees charged with identifying evidence-based treatment regimens, or clinical pathways, that will initially target treatments for breast, lung and colon cancers. Committee members will be drawn from local oncologists who participate in Aetna's networks.

"Our collaboration with Aetna and its regional physician networks reinforces our belief that local physician engagement is critical to the success of cancer care pathways," said Bruce Feinberg, vice president and chief medical officer of Cardinal Health's P4 Healthcare business. "The involvement of local thought leaders increases network physician participation, improves pathway compliance and optimizes the care and service patients receive."

P4 Healthcare will provide the technology, tools, education and training programs that will enable doctors in Aetna's network to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment pathways. The data captured will be used to measure both the clinical results of the training as well as any cost savings derived from the program.