Episode 3 - Examining Data Integration Platforms

Peter Salgo, MD; John L. Fox, MD, MHA; Michael Kolodziej, MD; Ira M. Klein, MD, MBA, FACP; Bryan Loy, MD; and Irwin W. Tischler, DO, agree that multiple sources and varying formats of data collection are preventing payers from utilizing available data to make informed treatment decisions in oncology.

The panelists discuss currently available data integration platforms that may help with data harmonization and clinical support. Dr Loy comments that although various database platforms are available, their use is limited due to infrastructure problems.

When analyzing the costs of care, patient-centric records that provide information about a patient’s entire continuum of care are important, as patients may receive treatment at multiple institutions from multiple physicians, notes Dr Fox.

To address the need for data regarding total cost of care, Dr Salgo highlights the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database and its link to Medicare data. The SEER database provides information regarding a patient’s initial diagnosis and overall treatment regimen, notes Dr Salgo.

However, Dr Kolodziej remarks that there are limitations in terms of how the SEER data are collected and the completeness of the data. Drs Klein and Fox add that although great in principle, the SEER database is not nationally representative. Together, they conclude that there is an unmet need for a database that captures all necessary data, and that it remains unclear what organizations would be responsible for funding and maintaining such a database.

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