Moffitt, UH partner on cancer care bundled payments

Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center

Courtesy photo: Moffitt Cancer Center

A payer-provider collaboration aims to harness the impact of quality improvement and bundled payments to improve outcomes and drive down the cost of cancer care.

Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida and UnitedHealthcare teamed up to create a new bundled payment model that includes surgery and radiation therapy bundles that use evidence-based guidelines to guide safe, effective, individualized treatments for every patient.

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The three-year pilot will focus on cures for early-stage lung cancer and aims to reduce variation in care.     

“This model is based on clinical pathways that we have developed at the cancer center to provide a basis for healthcare providers to evaluate best practices, outcomes information and cost of care,” Moffitt CEO Alan F. List, M.D., said in an announcement.

“The pathways enable us to provide patients with superior outcomes at a lower cost. This lung cancer payment model will provide important information to both Moffitt and UnitedHealthcare about how to improve care and reduce cost.”

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A similar UnitedHealth pilot not only improved quality but also cut cancer costs, according to a Journal of Oncology Practice study.

Insurer Highmark has also ventured into bundled payments for cancer care--that program includes 19 cancers that are treated with medication as well as radiation treatment for breast cancer, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Instead of requiring doctors to obtain pre-authorization for care, Highmark pays them a lump sum that it negotiates individually with each doctor based on past payments to that doctor.

“They can treat the patient as they see appropriate because the health plan is stepping out of the middle," said Virginia Calega, Highmark's vice president of medical management and policy.

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