Cancer as a Chronic Disease: Keys to Better Prevention, Coordination and Survivorship

Council of Accountable Physician Practices Shares Solutions for Better Cancer Care with Self-Insured Employers

Oakland, CA –   October 3, 2019 – Lack of coordination in cancer detection and treatment is the cause of excess costs and poor outcomes for patients, according to a presentation by Stephen Parodi, M.D., Chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), a coalition of integrated medical groups and health systems with 60,000 physicians located throughout the United States.

Speaking at the 39th Annual Educational Conference & Expo of the Self-Insured Institute of America in San Francisco, Dr. Parodi described how non-integrated systems encourage both waste and fragmented care, compared to a value-based approach based on demonstrated health outcomes.

“When teams of health care professionals are connected with technology and collaborate at all levels in the patient’s care, it improves detection, diagnosis, and treatment,” said Parodi, who is also executive vice president of External Affairs, Communications and Brand at The Permanente Federation, and associate executive director for The Permanente Medical Group. “Using this technology-enabled systems approach, we track which patients need preventive screenings, ensure that the necessary tests are completed, and act on results quickly. Care navigators in accountable medical groups work on behalf of patients to coordinate appointments and execute on a patient-centered treatment plan. As a result, patients have a more seamless care experience with improved health outcomes. At my own group, for example, our patients are now 52% less likely to die from colorectal cancers using this approach.”

Parodi shared several case examples that showed how the coordinated care approach was the solution for cancer patients at three CAPP groups: HealthPartners in Minnesota, Geisinger in Pennsylvania, and The Southern California Permanente Medical Group.

Cancer survivorship is increasing but so is the number of cases that are diagnosed each year, due to age and lifestyle factors. CAPP and the American Cancer Society’s “The State of Cancer” report recommends earlier diagnosis, better prevention, management of lifestyle factors, and coordinated care as mandatory improvements to save lives for patients with cancer.

“Employers should look to providers to display data on their population’s outcomes, demonstrate the effectiveness of their cancer care programs, and collaborate on approaches that will improve the chance of survivorship and the quality of life and productivity for employees with cancer,” concluded Parodi.

Parodi spoke on the panel “Living with Cancer: How Do Self-Funded Plans Adapt” with co-speakers Lisa Hundertmark, Director of Clinical Services, Stop-loss and Health at Sun Life Financial, and Michael Thompson, President & CEO of The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.

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Alka Atal-Barrio, MD, CAPP Board Member