In my last blog entry I made the point that employers, insurers, physicians and health care systems are working together in various combinations to develop innovative ideas that raise the quality of care or cut health care costs or both. I call it marketplace reform and I believe that over time it will do as much if not more to improve health care as legislation.
The example I gave last time was of insurers working together with employers. An example of insurers working with health care providers to improve health care is in the collection and analysis of clinical data to determine the best treatment options.
As I mentioned a few weeks back, UnitedHealthcare recently announced that we have launched our Oncology Care Analysis (OCA), the first program to combine clinical and claims data to gauge the quality of cancer patient care based on approved treatment guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 21 leading cancer centers. Our cancer registry includes clinical and claims data from more than 2,600 oncologists and 8,600 patients across the country with breast, colon or lung cancer.
OCA represents a true collaborative venture that would not be possible if UnitedHealthcare was not working hand-in-glove with health care systems and physicians. UnitedHealthcare provides the claims data and number-crunching capabilities; the medical community provides the clinical data and clinical standards.
We are sharing the results with participating oncologists to help improve the quality of cancer care and lead to better outcomes for patients. And it goes without saying that in doing so we’re complying with every privacy law.