Transcarent unveils latest bet with new cancer care program

Employer healthcare startup Transcarent is making its next move with the launch of a new cancer care experience.

The logo for Transcarent

Transcarent Oncology Care aims to offer an end-to-end solution to better manage outcomes and costs for patients who are diagnosed with common cancers. The program is built to connect with members at the point of diagnosis and assist them in navigating their care through remission, Snezana Mahon, chief operating officer at Transcarent, told Fierce Healthcare.

"That is the promise of Transcarent," she said. "We are going to put the consumer at the center."

Mahon said cost and quality of cancer care were major concerns for employers before the pandemic, especially given the hefty cost burden associated with specialty drugs, but these firms are bracing to manage a potential wave of new diagnoses that were delayed by COVID.

A study released last year by the National Cancer Institute found that the economic burden on patients caused by cancer was $21 billion nationally, including $16 billion in out-of-pocket costs. Cancer accounts for 10% to 12% of employers' total health spend, and they expect to see that reach 25% or more than 2025.

The company will contract directly with centers of excellence and other providers to make it easier for members to secure care from these providers. Members will also be connected with clinical trials for which they may qualify, Transcarent said.

Transcarent Oncology Care members will have access to the company's other services, including the ability to chat with a doctor around the clock, lower costs on medications and home health visits, according to the announcement.

Building mental and emotional health care into the program was a critical ask from employers, who were concerned that while solutions may get at the cost and navigation, there were limited options for them to assist workers in managing the emotional toil that comes with a cancer diagnosis, Mahon said.

The program will also assist employees with cancer in returning to the workplace when appropriate.

Mahon, a veteran of pharmacy benefit management giant Express Scripts, added there was a gap in the market for a solution that also incorporates pharmacy management, a key sticking point for employers given the high cost of cancer therapies.

Transcarent Oncology Care will assist members with connecting to the best specialty pharmacy for them and with managing their medication regimen in case of side effects and other concerns, she said.

Point solutions have played a valuable role in managing both the scale and cost of cancer treatment, but Mahon said bringing things all together rather than continuing to work in siloes will ensure patients themselves feel included and informed. 

"Really what we're talking about here is that missing link and continuity," she said.