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Clinical Pathways in Oncology

Segment 12: Patient Awareness About Clinical Pathways

Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, shares findings from their recently published study in The American Journal of Managed Care, which showed that patients do not know they are being treated on predetermined pathways.
“How aware are patients about their clinician using or treating them on a clinical pathway? Is there awareness among the patient population of any financial incentives that might be involved in the process?” Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD, asked the panelists.

Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, believes that there is minimal awareness among patients—as they discovered from a recent study that was published in The American Journal of Managed Care—and that this is both surprising and disconcerting.

The least transparent thing for patients is the financial incentives attached to pathway compliance. “Certainly, in the world of fee-for-service medicine there were concerns that patients may be receiving more care than they absolutely need, but as we move to a world where payments are going to be fixed, now there’s a concern that there could be some sort of underuse,” added Dr Dubois.

As such, Dr Dubois believes that moving forward there should be 2 things that are made clear to patients. First, that there are pathways in use and that there are ways around these pathways if needed. And second, there are financial incentives to adherence and that if a doctor falls below a certain percentage there may be financial consequences.

 
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