Aetna, P4 Healthcare Join Forces to Help Make Cancer Care More Effective and More Affordable

- Evidence-based Program to Begin in Florida and Maryland -

HARTFORD, Conn., and DUBLIN, Ohio, Feb. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Cardinal Health's P4 Healthcare business today announced the launch of a joint program that will identify and promote the best clinical practices to improve the overall quality – the delivery and success -- and cost of cancer treatment.

"We're focused on making cancer care more effective, more affordable and safer for our members," says Robert Kropp, M.D., regional medical director for Aetna's Southeast Region. "Our agreement with P4 Healthcare allows us to work quickly and directly with local doctors at the point of care to increase treatment plans based in proven science. This has shown to result in better patient outcomes, often with lower costs."

The agreement with P4 Healthcare is part of Aetna's collaborative approach to cancer care that includes:

  • working with the medical community;
  • encouraging the application of evidenced-based medicine;
  • delivering decision support;
  • providing incentives for the delivery of quality, cost-effective care; and
  • sharing costs savings with participating doctors.

P4 Healthcare and Aetna will establish regional committees in Florida and Maryland, comprised of local oncologists who participate in Aetna's networks. The committees will identify evidence-based treatment regimens, or clinical pathways, for delivering patient care initially for breast, lung, and colon cancers. 

"We believe that when doctors are meaningfully engaged in the process for developing clinical pathways, they are more likely to adopt the treatment regimens, because they understand and believe in the process," said Jeffrey Scott, M.D., senior vice president and general manager of P4 Healthcare. "This process also empowers physicians to identify additional opportunities to improve the quality and affordability of cancer care."  

P4 Healthcare will also provide proprietary technology, tools, educational programs and training to help doctors within the Aetna network implement and monitor use of the treatment pathways. These tools also capture clinical results and track cost savings of the program – without additional administrative work. The program is expected to expand to two additional states in 2011.

P4 Healthcare is part of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, which provides clinical, reimbursement and distribution services to help healthcare providers, payors and pharmaceutical manufacturers deliver quality, cost-effective care to patients with complex diseases.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.3 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 and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com. To learn more about Aetna's innovative online tools, visit www.aetnatools.com.

About Cardinal Health

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $99 billion health care 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, improving efficiency and quality, and increasing profitability. 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 #17 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at cardinalhealth.com.

SOURCE Cardinal Health

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