By Erin McCallister, Senior Editor
from the first of several U.S. experiments with cancer payment reform offer the
tantalizing possibility that drug companies could actually benefit from schemes
designed to reward oncologists for outcomes as well as cost reductions.
However, the first pilot - published in July by UnitedHealth Group Inc. - was too small to draw firm conclusions about drug
utilization. And not all the other experiments that are under way or in the
planning stages include both outcome and cost metrics in their calculations of
experiments now in progress or on the drawing board take different routes to
physician reimbursement reform, such as bundled payments covering drugs and
services, or treatment pathways that require adherence to preferred regimens.
Those differences aside, they all seek to reduce costs without sacrificing the
quality of care.