Attention Pathologists! MD Anderson and UnitedHealthcare Ink Bundled Payment Agreement for Cancer Care
If bundled payment becomes more common in treatment of cancer, then anatomic pathologists need a strategy to demonstrate their clinical value to physicians and payers
MD Anderson Cancer Center and UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH) announced a bundled payment agreement for the treatment of certain types of cancer. This development has implications for anatomic pathologist who provide cancer testing services to hospitals throughout the United States.
The new three-year pilot at MD Anderson’s Head and Neck Center in Houston, Texas, is the first use of a bundled payment model in a large, comprehensive cancer center. Officials say it is expected to lower costs while improving the quality of patient care and outcomes. As many as 150 patients with head and neck cancer who are enrolled in employer-sponsored UnitedHealthcare (UHC) plans will participate in the pilot.
“For the last five years, MD Anderson and its Institute for Cancer Care Innovation have been looking at how to best approach a single price for treating cancers. It is a complex question because cancer is a complex disease and each patient unique,” stated Thomas W. Feeley, M.D., Head of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, and Head of the Institute, in an MD Anderson news release. “Bundled pricing is something that patients and care providers want, and this is our first opportunity to better understand how we can manage costs without sacrificing quality care and patient outcomes.” (more…)