Bending the cost curve: a unique collaboration between radiation oncologists and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to optimize the use of advanced technology
Brenner, Mark J.
Bornstein, Bruce A.
Fitzgerald, Thomas J.
Jacobson, Joseph O.
Kachnic, Lisa A.
Shulman, Lawrence N.
Stevenson, Mary Ann.
Fallon, John A.
UMass Chan AffiliationsDepartment of Radiation Oncology
Keywords*Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Plans
Health Care Costs
Health Services Research
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Health and Medical Administration
Health Services Administration
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractPURPOSE: Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) limits the dose of radiation to critical normal tissue structures and can be applied to the management of most cancers treated with radiation therapy. Because of increased treatment planning time and quality assurance, IMRT is costly. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) and the Massachusetts Radiation Oncology Physicians Advisory Council (PAC) developed a strategy to develop standards for the appropriate use of IMRT. METHODS: Normal tissue volume guidelines were established in multiple oncology disease areas and body site regions. Guidelines were activated in September 2011, and the use of IMRT per case was tracked quarterly by BCBSMA staff. RESULTS: During the first year of activation of the volume-based guidelines, use of IMRT decreased by 17% in Massachusetts, in contrast to a 20% increase during the previous year. CONCLUSIONS: The normal tissue-based guidelines have decreased the use of IMRT in Massachusetts; increased the use of 3D treatment; continued communication between treating radiation oncologists and an insurance organization responsible for cost and quality in medicine; increased cost savings; enabled an efficient appeal process; and provided optimal, cost-effective patient care. This may prove to be an effective model for other disciplines and other developing and maturing radiation technologies.
SourceJ Oncol Pract. 2014 Sep;10(5):e321-7. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2014.001473. Link to article on publisher's site
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/47965
Related ResourcesLink to Article in PubMed
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Policy Brief: Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Community Health Workers: A Call to ActionLondon, Katharine; Damio, Grace; Ferrazo, Meredith; Perez-Escamalla, Rafael; Wiggins, Noelle (2018-01-30)This technical report was compiled by the Hispanic Health Council in partnership with Southwestern AHEC and a panel of Community Health Worker Policy Research Experts which included our Katharine London from the Center for Health Law and Economics. The report offers a number of policy recommendations for community health workers for communities that might benefit from community-based services. The report offers recommendations on; payment of community health workers; community health worker caseloads; community health worker recruitment; community health worker training; reflective and trauma-informed mentoring and supportive supervision of community health workers; integration of community health workers into care teams; documenting the effect of community heal worker services on social determination of health. The Hispanic Health Council believes a service design that effectively supports community health workers would incorporate the seven areas of policy recommendation included in this report.
A Public Health Framework for the State Mental Health Authority: A Call for Action by Massachusetts Consumers and Family MembersDelman, Jonathan (2006-01-01)During the Spring of 2006, Consumer Quality Initiatives (CQI) conducted 20 focus groups across the state, 12 with adults with mental illness, 3 with parents of youth with serious emotional disorder, 2 with youth with SED, 1 with family members of adult consumers, and 2 with youth in transition. Supported by a contract with Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH), the goal was to assist DMH in framing the criteria for its upcoming reprocurement. Our findings reveal a frustration with an approach to health care delivery that focuses primarily on the provision of psychiatric care (egs, medication, therapy, hospitalization). We reviewed the focus group reports to identify the most significant themes, which clustered within eight broad categories.
Making the Case for Sustainable Funding for Community Health Worker Services: Talking to Payers and ProvidersLondon, Katharine (2018-01-27)In this presentation, Katharine London of the Center for Health Law and Economics makes her case for offering sustainable funding for community health worker services. Research has shown community health workers can have a distinct impact on health systems, helping them improve population health and contain costs, while also promoting health equity and community engagement. This presentation was designed to assist CHWs and other advocates in engaging with policymakers and payers to support CHW sustainability and develop a financial plan for their CHW work. It was presented as part of a CHW Sustainability event held at the Families USA’s annual conference, Health Action 2018: Staying Strong for America’s Families, in Washington, DC. See Katharine London's blog post on payment delivery methods for community health workers here.