Wednesday, March 17, 2010

There are lots of ways to fight cancer and we’re trying to identify the best ones for each patient.

A few days ago I told you about our new Oncology Care Analysis (OCA) program, which is the very first program to combine clinical and claims data to gauge the quality of cancer patient care based on approved treatment guidelines.

I wanted to write a little bit more about how OCA is going to help improve how physicians treat cancer.

Treatment of cancer varies widely among doctors and hospitals in the United States. The Oncology Care Analysis program’s goal is to help improve quality and coordination of cancer patient care by providing oncologists with information and feedback relevant to the care they are providing to their patients.

The OCA electronic medical record delivers coordinated patient information to the treating physicians that they may not have in their existing medical records, such as patient compliance with medications. For example, physicians may not be aware if their patients are not filling prescriptions for essential cancer medications. The record also contains important information about procedures performed by other specialists, including radiation oncologists and surgeons.

In November 2009, UnitedHealthcare initially shared OCA program patient data with 1,500 participating oncologists to help them better understand the strengths of their patient care along with areas for improvement. Each participating oncologist received aggregate national program results in addition to their individual results, along with relevant guideline data for each eligible patient under their care. UnitedHealthcare also shared aggregate national results with 12,000 additional oncologists within its health care provider network in an effort to introduce the tool and the cancer registry program.

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