Dr Robert Carlson on Calculating Value in Cancer Care




Robert W. Carlson, MD, CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), discussed calculating value in cancer care and the dimensions of NCCN's value assessment framework, Evidence Blocks.

Transcript (slightly modified)
Why do we need value calculators and the value discussion in oncology today?
Value in oncology care today is a very important topic because the effectiveness of therapies but also because of the cost—both to society and to the individual patient—of the individual therapies. And so it's a circumstance where it's important to know what the consumer, what the healthcare system is getting in return for the dollar cost that is being spent on cancer care. It's very complicated and providing transparent information either by text, tables, or computer-based calculators is very important.

What are the cornerstones of NCCN's Evidence Blocks?
The NCCN Evidence Blocks are based upon 5 different dimensions of data or decision making. The first is the dimension of efficacy: how effective is the therapy? The second is safety: how safe is it to receive the therapy, what kind of difficulties or toxicities would the patient experience with the therapy? The third is that of data quality and quantity that supports the recommendation. The fourth is the consistency of the information that supports the recommendation. And the fifth is that of affordability and how affordable is the therapy to the medical system or society.
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