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Definition of value still varies among healthcare stakeholders

A group of healthcare stakeholders attempted to define value at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network 23rd Annual Conference, March 22 to March 24 in Orlando, Fla., AJMC reports.

A panel moderated by the Lewin Group's Cliff Goodman, PhD, looked at value in oncology.

Here's what you should know.

1. Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center's Michael Neuss, MD, believes his health system is "making progress," on implementing value-based initiatives. He said the key to value-based care lies in implementing best practices that use good data. In one instance, providers were shown data on their drug expenses and spending decreased because oncologists were "embarrassed" by high drug costs.

2. However, Association of Northern California Oncologists' David Mirda, MD, was cautious concerning the overuse of EHR mining because many oncologists believe EHRs interfere with value. Despite that, he believes a growing awareness of excessive spending is creating change and value.

3. Dr. Mirda believes the high cost of drugs also creates an opportunity for oncologists to understand and respond to a patient's unique needs.

4. Travis Bray, PhD, of the Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation, disagreed with the idea. He said growing physician awareness of spending is not creating value because the problem lies in the excessive amounts cancer patients must pay for care.

"While the care delivery system is aligned to generate value, it's aligned to generate value in the opposite direction from patients," Dr. Bray said.

To which PhRMA's Randy Burkholder said value means delivering better treatment, while reducing overall cost.

5. The panel was unable to come to a consensus, but made several more points, available here.

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