Dr David Debono Previews Precision Health, Value-Based Care Discussion at PCOC® 2020

September 21, 2020

The opportunity that precision medicine presents in the field of oncology will be further discussed during this year’s Patient-Centered Oncology Care® 2020 virtual meeting.

The opportunity that precision medicine presents in the field of oncology will be discussed during this year’s Patient-Centered Oncology Care® 2020 virtual meeting, said David Debono, MD, medical director of oncology at Anthem.

AJMC®: What is the overall message you would like to convey to the audience at Patient-Centered Oncology Care® 2020?

Dr Debono: Oncology care in this era of precision medicine, we believe, is a huge opportunity for patients and their families. Anthem health plans are committed to its members, and we are also committed to the oncology community. And we will encourage high-value, precise care for all of its members with cancer.

AJMC®: What is Anthem’s approach to working with community oncology networks?

Dr Debono: We understand that 80% of oncology care is practiced in the community, and we value these oncologists. We understand that community oncologists have a commitment to their patients, to their patients' families, and to their communities. In that vein, we have developed a unique practice engagement model, where we have provider clinical liaisons centered in different regions of the company across the country.

These provider clinical liaisons, who are oncology nurses or oncology pharmacists, are collaborating with oncology practices across Anthem. These liaisons create a very productive relationship with practices where we can discuss our value-based strategies, where we can review our pathways program, and we can review other programs that we are developing within the oncology solutions team.

We are also providing palliative care resources. Palliative care resources are widely available at large institutions and academic centers. However, in the community, palliative care resources are somewhat scattered, if you will. So, we are providing palliative care resources which we believe complement the care that a busy oncologist is providing to its patient and family.

We've also expanded hospice care to allow for patients to receive oncology treatment while they are providing hospice care at the same time. This allows for patients and families not to make that excruciating decision to either continue the treatment that may be continuing to be beneficial or to move toward hospice care.

This hospice expansion allows for patients to continue their treatment and allows for the oncologist to have multiple conversations about high-quality end-of-life care as that patient progresses with their cancer journey.

We think that all these measures keep oncology care in the community and encourage high-quality, high-value care that we know is routinely practiced in the community.