Parker County Today May 2016 - Page 37

Cancer Treatment Pathways. Why are they important for cancer patients? The use of clinical pathways in oncology care is increasingly important “There is nothing more important to me as a physician than your cancer treatment. I’ve been in practice for nearly two decades and have had the privilege of telling many patients that there is life beyond cancer. As president of The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, I want to lead by example, practicing a firm belief that all patients should receive the finest medical care available, with the same concern and compassion as a cherished member of the family.” Ray Page, D.O., Ph.D. President and Medical Oncologist The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders to patients and oncology providers as a tool for enhancing both quality and value. The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders for the past 8 years has been a pioneer practice in the development and utilization of cancer treatment pathways. We partnered with the University of Pittsburg Medical Center and were the first community oncology practice in the U.S. to utilize web-based pathways integrated with our electronic health record with a vendor know as Via Oncology. It improved our quality of care. Over those years I have had the honor to serve on their steering committee, data/publications committee, and both the lung cancer and melanoma treatment committees. Cancer treatment pathways are showing increasing value in cancer care as the complexity of chemo regimens, varieties of choices and rising costs all contribute to increasingly difficult decision making for an individual oncologist. Good pathways can assist physicians in making shared-decision treatment choices with the patients. Pathways generally take into account the overall effectiveness of drug treatments, the toxicities of the therapy, and costs. However, with increasing adoption of pathways into oncology practices, concerns have been raised by oncologists. These include the process being used for pathway development, the administrative burdens on oncology practices of reporting on pathway adherence, and understanding the true impact of pathway use on patient health outcomes. As I finished my tenure as chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) State Affiliates Council, we analyzed these issues and identified concerns. I was asked by the ASCO board to assist in leading the ASCO Clinical Pathways Task Force. I am pleased to say that we worked hard and at breakneck speed to publish an ASCO Pathways Policy this last January. We articulated a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve the development of oncology pathways and processes, allowing the demonstration of pathway concordance in a manner that promotes evidence-based, high-value care respecting input from patients, payers, and providers. I have written editorials recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Journal of Oncology Practice further defining the role of pathways particularly in context to payment reform initiatives. My latest, “A Pathway Through the Bundle Jungle” will be published this month. I have presented these concepts to multiple stakeholder conferences across the U.S. I am looking forward this month to going back to Washington, D.C. to program to assure that all cancer treatment pathways that are utilized are will be presenting a series of resolutions concerning clinical pathways that Schedule appointments by calling 817-596-0637 or online at Support services sponsored by: will propose standards across all medical specialties. We hope this will lessen administrative burdens on physicians and improve patient care. To learn more about cancer care issues or to consult with a physician about a cancer diagnosis, contact us at 817.596.0637. PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY compliant to the highest standards for our patients. Lastly, I am excited that as one of the ASCO delegates to the AMA , I MAY 2016 meet with all the stakeholder organizations, including numerous patient advocacy organizations, payer, providers, and pathways vendors. Our goal is to develop and implement an oncology pathways certification 35