Plans Help Bridge Cost Discussion


Put yourself in the oncologist’s position: Would you want to discuss with a patient the cost of the cancer care he is receiving? Reaction to a new study suggests that health plans can make this patient-physician conversation less awkward. The study by Tufts Medical Center suggests that as much as 84 percent of oncologists say that patients’ out-of-pocket costs influence treatment decisions, yet only 43 percent always or frequently discuss costs with patients.

Health plans can play a constructive role by bringing to light the cost-effectiveness of treatments that oncologists can use.

But Peter Neumann, ScD, the lead author, says that “oncologists want to stay in control of decisions. They seem to want more information, but they don’t want to give up decision control.”

This signals an “opportunity for managed care to provide information and to educate physicians and patients,” says Neumann. “It’s a chance to educate oncologists about strategies to use when talking with their patients about costs and letting the physician know that it’s appropriate to talk with their patients about costs. A discussion about costs of treatment is an integral part of the complex treatment decision.”

The researchers found that costs are a real part of decision making, says Neumann.

Career Opportunities

HAP, a subsidiary of Henry Ford Health System, is a nonprofit health plan providing coverage to individuals, companies and organizations. This executive develops strategies to meet membership and revenue targets through products, pricing, market segmentation and advertising.  Aligns business among Business Development, Commercial Sales, Medicare and Public Sector Programs and Product Development. Seeks to enhance and be responsible for business development and expansion through the development of an effective product portfolio, strong interpersonal relationships and service excellence.

Apply via email to jfedder1@hfhs.org or online at http://p.rfer.us/HENRYFORDlXqAJA

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