Dr Ray Page on Balancing Innovations and Cost in Cancer Care

May 5, 2020

Transformational changes in cancer care can bring forth important innovations, but all those come at a cost, said Ray Page, DO, PhD, president and director of research at The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Transformational changes in cancer care can bring forth important innovations, but all those come at a cost, said Ray Page, DO, PhD, president and director of research at The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Transcript:

How well are practices balancing innovations in cancer care and managing the cost of that care?

The cost of innovation is always high. It's just a challenge because as we make transformational changes, there are a lot of innovations that are out there that are brought forth. There's a lot of companies and other relationships that we like to develop, to try to make our practices more efficient in the value-based world. But all those come at a cost and an expense. Again, when we look at the timing of trying to take on new innovations, and seeing what the return on investment is, we don't see those calculated returns in Oncology Care Model for another year. It makes it difficult to manage the finances of taking on new innovations.

As practices move more towards value-based care and try to curb the rising costs of care, are they turning more to clinical pathways? If not, should they be?

My practice is a strong believer in clinical pathways. We've been a pioneer in the development of clinical pathways for many years. We primarily are engaged in treatment pathways as well as symptom management pathways. Our practice has been engaged with oncology for the last 12, 13, 14 years managing treatment pathways. That's part of the equation of creating value-based care, is making sure that with the complexity of the drug regimens and the cost of some of the newer therapies that we have, is that we are being good stewards of the resources that we have. By looking and developing pathways that are based on the evidence of efficacy and toxicity and cost, that we can develop pathway systems that make all the physicians in our practice more congruent in their choices that are more value-based. Without a doubt, we believe that pathways is part of the value-based model of delivering care.