Care Coordination and Precision Medicine Improve Early Diagnoses – HealthPayerIntelligence.com

December 12, 2019 -Payers are using coordinated care and precision medicine to make diagnoses more quickly and ensure a strong treatment plan for severe and chronic disease management.

Early detection of chronic and severe diseases can mean the difference between life and death. It can also mean the difference between affordable therapies and crippling medical bills.

A March 2018 study found that early cancer diagnosis could result in significant cost savings nationally. Researchers looked at 17 types of cancer and estimated that early detection could save, conservatively, $26 billion nationally.

Recognizing what is at stake, payers take different approaches to catching severe or chronic illnesses in their formative stages.

Coordinated care is a simple, well-tested method for both chronic disease prevention and chronic disease management.

READ MORE: Chronic Disease Coordinated Care May Not Impact Pediatric Spending

Humana recently announced that it would pursue a traditional approach to ensure that patients in danger of chronic kidney and end of life renal disease find out early and get the support they need.

Humana will task skilled provider teams with catching these diseases earlier and implementing personalized treatments.

This coordinated care strategy builds a team of nephrologists, nurses, dietitians, and social workers from one of Humanas two partnerseither Monogram Health or Somatus, depending on geographic location.

The providers will work with the patients primary care physician to determine the best treatments and provide home healthcare options, patient education, and mental healthcare support through counseling.

This multidisciplinary approach will focus on detecting kidney disease earlier, slowing disease progression, and utilizing therapies that enable members to receive care in the convenience of their own home, said William Shrank, MD, MPHS, Humanas chief medical and corporate affairs officer.

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Through this collaboration, we will strengthen care coordination for Humana members with kidney disease. Our partnerships will offer customized care options, and will empower patients with education and engagement tools to better manage their condition.

In February, Humana took a similar approach with its oncology program, enhancing its coordinated care strategy and using analytics to ensure quality care.

With new advancements every day in genetic therapies, precision medicine is another method payers use to ensure that patients receive a quick diagnosis and the best treatment plan.

CVS Health launched an oncology care program called Transform Oncology Care, which uses precision medicine to identify and treat cancer patients. The program is rolling out to Aetna members in 12 states but is also available for use by other payers.

Due to CVS Healths geographic and data footprint, it can assess the likelihood that a patient will get cancer. With that information, the patients provider can intervene early on to pursue preventive care, screenings, or therapies.

READ MORE: Precision Medicine Challenges Persist, Aetna Leads Response

When it comes to identifying the appropriate therapies, the program allows providers to use genetics to identify the best course of treatment for a patient recently diagnosed with cancer.

Timing in cancer care is everything and when a patient does not get started on the right treatment it can result in progression and higher costs, said Alan Lotvin, MD, executive vice president and chief transformation officer at CVS Health.

We are the first company working to make the latest in precision medicine accessible to more patients and further empower informed treatment decision-making based on a patient's genetic profile to give them the best chance for successful treatment and improved quality-of-life.

Working in coordination with its third-party vendor, Tempus, CVS Healths new program will enable patients to undergo a broad-panel gene sequencing test once diagnosed to determine the best treatment. This is ideal not only for patients in early stages of cancer, but especially for patients in more advanced stages who need to start treatment as soon as possible.

Because genomic sequencing has certain eligibility requirements, providers are not always aware that gene sequencing is an option open to their patient.

In order to ensure that oncologists prescribe gene sequencing to eligible patients, CVS Health introduced a web-based provider portal into its e-prescribing software which allows oncologists to see the patients eligibility for the broad-panel gene sequencing tests among other functions.

For those who qualify, the program identifies the best treatment options based on genetic makeup. It also alerts providers to potential clinical trials that patients can enroll in and makes the enrollment process easier and faster.

The program integrates National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines which are constantly updated for the most recent suggested prescribing and treatment options.

Critically, this service can be employed at the point of detection, so treatments can be identified immediately, and a therapeutic strategy quickly determined.

CVS Health combines this digital solution with a nurse-led coordinated care team to continue quality of care after the diagnosis.

This service is available for only fully insured commercial members.

Among its other chronic disease management developments, earlier this year, CVS Health used preventive care to improve diabetes treatment.

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Care Coordination and Precision Medicine Improve Early Diagnoses - HealthPayerIntelligence.com

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