The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released the Criteria for High-Quality Clinical Pathways in Oncology, which is expected to help providers assess the quality, utility, and integrity of pathway programs in the United States.
By developing 15 inter-related criteria that constitute a framework, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released the Criteria for High-Quality Clinical Pathways in Oncology, which is expected to help providers assess the quality, utility, and integrity of pathway programs in the United States.
Clinical pathways are a structured approach to reducing variance in healthcare utilization and, subsequently, controlling the cost of care. Academic medical institutions, provider organizations, and health plans have all adopted pathway programs in an effort to potentiate high-value care. However, identifying the appropriate program for a practice is essential, and with so many vendors to choose from, ASCO thought it necessary to develop the guideline that was released today.
At the beginning of 2016, ASCO released a policy statement to help providers address some of the concerns with payer-developed pathways, including their ability to address the entire spectrum of cancer care, as well as the additional administrative burden that they might place on physicians, further limiting their time with patients. Robin Zon, MD, FACP, FASCO, who chairs ASCO’s Task Force on Clinical Pathways, wrote in Evidence-Based OncologyTM that the purpose of the policy statement was 3-fold:
“ASCO’s efforts to promote value in cancer care are multi-pronged and include participation in the Choosing Wisely campaign, publication of multiple statements on cost and value in cancer care, development of a new oncology payment model focused on value (not volume) and, most recently, development of the ASCO Value Framework,” Zon told The American Journal of Managed Care® in an e-mail. “Like the ASCO Value Framework, clinical pathways in oncology can serve as an important tool to help oncologists identify treatment options that represent the highest quality and value for an individual patient’s disease state and circumstances.”
In an effort to reduce the wide variations among pathways programs, which, according to Zon, can impact “patient access, quality of care, and transparency,” ASCO has presented providers with the following criteria:
Zon believes that independent of the site of service, “These criteria can be utilized in a manner that enhances the ability of the provider to evaluate pathway programs, including those already implemented, as well as for programs under consideration by practice management.” In addition to optimizing their existing pathways programs, practices could potentially collaborate with various stakeholders to review pathway programs, while keeping the proposed criteria in mind.
Additional details on the criteria can be accessed here.