NCCN News

NCCN, The US Oncology Network, and McKesson Specialty Health Collaborate to Offer New Value Pathways for Cancer Care

NCCN, The US Oncology Network, and McKesson Specialty Health are collaborating to develop enhanced oncology pathways delivered through innovative technology, which will strengthen standards in evidence-based, high-quality cancer care and enable new forms of transparent provider and payer relationships. Value Pathways powered by NCCN are the next step in a collaboration to deliver a first-of-its-kind clinical quality and regimen support system, building upon a solution initially developed by Proventys, Inc. as CDS Oncology. This workflow-integrated software will allow physicians to assess treatment options consistent with evidence-based standards at the point of care. Value Pathways powered by NCCN, delivered through the clinical quality and regimen support system, is an important step forward in ensuring patients receive the highest quality treatment, while offering options to address the costs of cancer care.

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines)—the most comprehensive and most frequently updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine—will serve as the foundational evidence source within the clinical quality and regimen support system and be supplemented by the collaboratively-developed Value Pathways. Anchored in clinical quality and evidence-based medicine, Value Pathways powered by NCCN will build upon The US Oncology Network’s Level I Pathways and help patients receive the highest-quality care with the best opportunity for positive outcomes, while also recognizing the importance of value in determining appropriate treatment options. These pathways will provide payers and employers with quality-based pathways, developed by trusted oncologist-led sources through a transparent process, suitable to drive value-based reimbursement programs.

Leading physicians of The US Oncology Network, supported by McKesson Specialty Health, will work with guideline panel oncologists from NCCN Member Institutions to develop the pathways, which will initially cover 19 tumor types and be expanded to match the breadth of NCCN Guidelines. Value Pathways will reflect the collaborative effort of nearly 2000 physicians and oncology researchers affiliated with NCCN Guidelines Panels and The US Oncology Network. Ongoing development of Value Pathways will be 100% concordant with NCCN Guidelines and leverage the pathways development process pioneered by The US Oncology Network’s Level I Pathways and Pathways Task Force.

“NCCN Guidelines are recognized as the gold standard across the industry. Our collaboration builds upon that by pairing them with new Value Pathways powered by NCCN to create a single set of content that we believe will enhance national best practices for optimal patient care and value-based outcomes in a completely transparent process,” said Roy Beveridge, MD, chief medical officer for McKesson Specialty Health and The US Oncology Network. “The physician-led approach to developing meaningful clinical content—including rigorous peer review and updates based on the best science available—is a natural match between our organizations and our complementary expertise will enable us as an industry to measure, track and drive quality cancer care using the best, most up-to-date medicine.”

Developed by physicians for physicians, Value Pathways will be available in the spring of 2013 as part of the clinical quality and regimen support system. This first-of-its-kind software will allow physicians to review treatment options and their relevant clinical attributes against both Value Pathways and NCCN Guidelines at the point of care, and integrated within their workflow — creating a new technology and clinical quality standard in oncology. By placing emphasis on outcomes, the system will allow oncologists to access the most recent evidence available in the delivery of high-quality cancer care.

“Through the clinical quality and regimen support system and Value Pathways powered by NCCN, our goal is to enable oncologists to access the most recent evidence available in the delivery of high-quality cancer care,” said Dr. Robert Carlson, incoming chief executive officer of NCCN. “This collaboration provides physicians with up-to-date, peer-reviewed, evidence-based practice guidelines for cancer detection, prevention and risk reduction, biomarkers recommendations, diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care for a multitude of disease sites.”

The clinical quality and regimen support system will allow physicians to access evidence-based content at the point of care and will be compatible with multiple leading Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, increasing efficiency within the practice, as well as quality and cost effectiveness.

“We are excited to work with McKesson Specialty Health and The US Oncology Network to offer Value Pathways and the NCCN Guidelines within the clinical quality and regimen support system,” said Patricia J. Goldsmith, executive vice president and chief operating officer for NCCN. “Our guidelines and Level I Pathways have helped clinicians and payers address variations in treatment and improve oncology cost trends through emphasis on the quality of care. We aim to use our combined expertise to continue this mission and enhance care by offering one standard set of content, through a new accessible format.”

NCCN Biomarkers Compendium Now Available

NCCN announces the availability of the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium, a tool developed to identify how biomarkers are appropriately used to screen, diagnose, monitor, and provide predictive or prognostic information to ensure, ultimately, that patients with cancer have access to appropriate testing.

The tests included in the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium are those recommended in the NCCN Guidelines—the recognized standard for clinical policy in oncology and the most comprehensive and frequently updated guidelines available in any area of medicine.

Biomarker testing provides critical information needed to make certain that patients receive those treatments most likely to be effective, while avoiding possibly ineffective treatment and unnecessary side effects—an important component of personalized cancer treatment.

“An accurate diagnosis is the cornerstone for the treatment of cancer; however, in this emerging era of highly targeted therapy, the correct diagnosis needs to be supplemented by critical information regarding tumor biomarkers,” said Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Vice Chair of Medical Informatics, Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “The NCCN Biomarkers Compendium will help clinicians select the appropriate tests that have been identified as clinically useful in the NCCN Guidelines.”

The goal of the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium is to provide essential details for those biomarker uses which have been evaluated by NCCN Guidelines Panels and are recommended in the NCCN Guidelines. Tests that measure changes in genes or gene products and which are used for diagnosis, screening, monitoring, surveillance, or for providing predictive or prognostic information are included in the Biomarkers Compendium.

General information on appropriate methodologies for biomarker testing is provided, focusing on the biology or abnormality being measured rather than on commercially available tests or test kits. NCCN anticipates that this compendium may eventually be used by payers in much the same way the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium) is utilized as a reference for coverage decisions.

“NCCN is pleased to announce the availability of the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium,” said Patricia J. Goldsmith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Together with the NCCN Compendium, this tool will indeed assist physicians and payors in identifying appropriate molecular testing from treatment and coverage perspectives and help them to provide the most up-to-date standard of care, based on NCCN Guidelines.”

Currently, the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium includes more than 900 biomarker uses covering all NCCN Guidelines disease sites where biomarker testing is applicable.

Users can visit NCCN.org/biomarkers today and enter the code “BIOMARKERS” for 30 days of free access to the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium. Trial subscriptions are available through January 2013.

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