barriers to cancer treatment and encourage patients to make wise use of health-care resources. This approach, Dr. Partridge says, also will improve the overall quality of life for cancer patients and their families by encouraging age-appropriate screenings, tobacco-use cessation, healthy eating, increased physical activity and co-morbidity man- agement during longer-term cancer survivorship.
We are building a sustainable new method to address cancer costs for a population that faces the greatest burden, without the resources, Dr. Partridge says. This grant allows us the opportu- nity to maximize our extensive experience in recruit- ing, training and implementation of lay health work- ers across the cancer continuum, from prevention and early detection to treatment and survivorship.
Based on the premise that guideline-driven cancer management leads to decreased overall cost, the multidisciplinary teams at the Cancer Center will work with local oncologists in the Cancer Care Network to emphasize the importance of using evidence-based, cost-effective treatments when caring for cancer patients. A trained naviga- tion team including a registered nurse, trained lay navigators, community educators and other support staff will assist the oncologists in each community. In addition, physicians and patients will be encouraged to make appropriate use of hospice care for advanced illness and eliminate the use of ineffective chemotherapy treatments in the advanced stages of disease.
A SIXFOLD PATH The grant includes six targeted areas of inter-
vention: Reducing hospital days, days spent in intensive care units (ICU) and emergency-
room visits. We asked each of our affiliates to identify their Medicare population and for the total number of hospital days, total number of ICU days and total number of emergency-room visits for a one-year period for that population, Mr. Smedley says. We determined that if we were able to reduce unnecessary, unplanned hospital utiliza- tion by 9.5 percent across the whole group, then over a three-year period, we would save approxi- mately $23 million. Keeping patients on clinical pathway. It s estimated that as many as one-third of all cancer
The Cancer Center will work with local oncolo-
gists in the Cancer Care Network to emphasize the
importance of using evidence-based, cost-effective
treatments when caring for cancer patients.
As a national leader in translational research, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center offers its expertise
to its affiliate members.
The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center believes in a multidisci- plinary team approach to treating cancer patients.
4 U A B C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R