Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Michigan oncologists launch statewide initiative to create cancer guidelines

November 2, 2009

DETROIT - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Oncology Physician Resource announced today the launch of an innovative oncology treatment initiative aimed at enhancing the quality of care for patients with certain types of cancer.

OPR, a statewide physician organization comprised of 140 oncologists representing 64 Michigan oncology practices, is working with oncology leaders from across Michigan, as well as P4 Healthcare, an oncology benefit management company, and BCBSM to develop the Michigan Oncology Clinical Treatment Pathways program. In this program, a statewide panel of oncology leaders have created up-to-date clinical guidelines for treating patients with lung, breast and colon cancer, as well as guidelines for supportive care. Supportive care products are used to prevent or treat the adverse side effects that arise as a result of the tumor itself or administration of cancer treatment. The guidelines will be shared with oncologists across Michigan as a way to provide cost-effective care and improve the quality of health care delivery, without compromising integrity or delivery of treatment.

"As a physician group comprised of and run by oncologists, our goal in this program was to address quality and efficiency of cancer care while ensuring that the integrity of the physician practice and the patient experience are not compromised," said Phil Stella, M.D., president and chief executive officer, OPR.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan supports this program as part of our own efforts to assist the physician community while continually seeking to improve the care delivered to our members. We applaud the oncology community for their development of evidence-based pathways that can create high-quality and cost-effective care for patients," said Tom Simmer, M.D., chief medical officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

P4 Healthcare, creators of the P4 Pathways program that serves as the foundation for this initiative, will provide proprietary technology, tools, expertise, educational programs and hands-on training for developing, implementing and continually monitoring and reporting on anything relating to the P4 Pathways program.

Practices implementing P4 Pathway programs have historically shown less variability in regimens, reduced misuse of chemotherapy, better managed toxicity, optimized use of biologics and more defined treatment milestones. The software tools are user friendly, have minimal impact on workload and require no hardware investment.

"P4 Pathways has grown tremendously and currently helps manage the treatment of 10 million lives across six states. The reason for this growth is that our proprietary technology provides real-time data and analysis coupled with evidence-based pathways and appropriate reimbursement, which has significantly improved patient outcomes with a substantial reduction in health care costs," said Jeffrey Scott, M.D., chief executive officer, P4 Pathways.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including: Traditional Blue Cross Blue Shield; Blue Preferred®, Community Blue℠ and Healthy Blue Incentives℠ PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living℠; Flexible Blue℠ plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans and MyBlue℠ products in the under-age-65 individual market. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

About Oncology Physician Resource

Oncology Physician Resource is an innovative physician-owned management services organization with more than 140 oncologists representing 64 Michigan oncology practices. OPR's mission is to assist independent oncology practices in providing optimal care to their patients while surviving and thriving in a challenging health care environment. As a physician directed entity, OPR is focused exclusively on patient access to care, optimal quality care and managing the high costs of oncology drugs for its physician members.

About P4 Pathways, a P4 Healthcare company

P4 Pathways partners with payers across the country to establish clinically proven, evidence-based oncology treatment protocols designed to promote the delivery of high quality, cost efficient patient care. These protocols seek optimal patient outcomes by ensuring selections of the most cost-effective medications, minimizing side effects, reducing errors and minimizing toxicities Patients, payers and physicians all benefit alike. Significant cost savings and enhanced care are realized by eliminating unnecessary medical costs, reducing hospitalization and selecting the most cost effective medications.P4 Pathways, LLC, is a P4 Healthcare company For more information visit P4Pathways.com.

©1996-2014 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We provide health insurance in Michigan.

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