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Taking Aim at Cancer Costs

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, October 10, 2012

To promote the use of lower-cost generic chemotherapy drugs, Calabria says HAP has worked to increase—not decrease—the provider reimbursement for generic oncology drugs. Cutting reimbursements would be a "disincentive" for physicians to use generics, according to Calabria.

"This isn't a utilization management program," he explains. "We don't want to discourage generic usage by not reimbursing correctly."

Calabria acknowledges that oncology cost and treatment management is a "new frontier. It's emotional." Among the hoped-for outcomes of the program is that the pathways provide physicians and patients with the clinical support they need to feel more comfortable with getting ready for end-of-life care. "At some point we need to stop treatment when there's no support for it anymore."

Calabria expects the HAP program to get underway later this year.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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