Segment 11: Can Clinical Pathways Restrict Patient Access?

Neither Blase Polite, MD, MPP, not Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, believe that clinical pathways restrict patient access to care.

When asked to discuss patient access to care, Blase Polite, MD, MPP, said he would not consider pathways as restricting access for patients. At this point, he answered, pathways are not a high stake problem because there is no large compensation tied to them. As long as pathways are structured so that there is flexibility and acknowledgment that physicians do not need to be 100% compliant, Dr Polite said he is not concerned.

Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, was in complete agreement since he believes that people are implementing pathways in a gradual way. “I think it’ll be very interesting to see the evolution with the [National Comprehensive Cancer Network] pathways because now they’re beginning to develop value measures, and how tightly they will marry the 2 and whether, as we ratchet up concerns about cost, whether that means that patients will have fewer and fewer choices with their doctors,” he replied.

Dr Dubois does, however, think that this is an open question that we should keep a close eye on in the future.

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