Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions’ Clinical Pathways

Cardinal Health recently announced that a series of studies found that Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions’ Clinical Pathways program significantly reduces the cost of cancer treatment, improves clinical care and shows promise for guiding treatment of other high-cost, complex diseases.

Several of the studies found that the ability of Cardinal’s Clinical Pathways to significantly reduce costs of cancer treatment while improving clinical care could be replicated, when implemented by other payers and different sets of doctors and patients, in varying geographic areas.

In one of the 2014 studies, there was an 18.3 percent decrease in chemotherapy costs when physicians participated in the Clinical Pathways program. In a study released last year, there was a 15 percent decrease.

Cardinal said that patient outcomes were similar or better than those of a control group in both studies. Participating payers reported that their members experience shorter hospital stays and less emergency room visits, reducing total treatment costs.

The five studies will be featured in early June at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) annual meeting.

The Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions Clinical Pathways, P4 Pathways (P4), creates payor and provider collaborations to leverage evidence-based treatment protocols that are designed to promote the delivery of cost-effective care and better patient care.

Founded in 2008, P4 Pathways is a part of the Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions group. Cardinal Health acquired Healthcare Solutions Holding, LLC, in July 2010, which is the parent company of a number of subsidiaries, including P4 Pathways and P4 Healthcare.

P4 Pathways is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive customized solutions to increase efficiency and provide the highest standards of patient care in oncology. Because P4 Healthcare has a growing network of oncology practices throughout the country, P4 Pathways is able to establish strong relationships between physicians and partners that allow open discussion, mutual understanding of needs, and collaboration on the implementation of best-in-class standards of care.

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions’ Clinical Pathways are programs led by physicians that establish best practice treatment protocols for specific disease states. Studies of the programs have found that physician reimbursement can remain neutral or increase, while total treatment costs fall, when its Clinical Pathways are effectively implemented.

In Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions’ Clinical Pathways model, local teams led by physicians establish evidence-based treatment protocols for their practices and networks. Although participation is voluntary, physicians are encouraged and typically incented to follow the pathways, which are monitored and updated to reflect the most up-to-date clinical evidence.

The goal of the program is to make the treatment of specialty diseases as cost effective as possible by allowing physicians to consistently follow the best clinical evidence, and by reducing unnecessary or less effective treatments, resulting in lower total costs and improved clinical outcomes.