Pharma

New decision-support tool to help doctors follow cancer, arthritis best practices

New decision support technology from Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) is designed to help physicians follow cancer and rheumatoid arthritis “clinical pathways” — evidence-based treatment regimens. The new technology, called PathWare Solutions, would be purchased by a health insurance plan or payer, which would then make it available to physicians in its network, according to a spokeswoman […]

New decision support technology from Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) is designed to help physicians follow cancer and rheumatoid arthritis “clinical pathways” — evidence-based treatment regimens.

The new technology, called PathWare Solutions, would be purchased by a health insurance plan or payer, which would then make it available to physicians in its network, according to a spokeswoman for Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal.

The technology is most likely to be implemented by health plans that are clients of Cardinal’s specialty solutions group, which distributes specialty drugs to doctors’ offices.

PathWare Solutions could be desirable to health plans because the technology can show them to what extent physicians are complying with cancer and arthritis clinical pathways.

Cardinal’s clinical pathways program aims to improve cost and quality in three ways, Bruce Feinberg, chief medical officer for Cardinal’s P4 business, told MedCity News last year.

First, the program aims to convert the use of branded drugs to generics when appropriate. Second, the clinical pathways program emphasizes dropping treatment regimens that aren’t supported by today’s best-available medical evidence. And third, the program is aimed at reducing the variance that occurs in treatment regimens for the same condition.

Cardinal began the pathways program in cancer but last year rolled out the program for rheumatoid arthritis. It could seek to expand pathways to other specialty areas, like urology and dermatology, in the future.

In addition to helping physicians follow clinical pathways, Cardinal says its new decision-support technology will allow health providers to electronically order specialty drugs and better manage the claims process with insurers.

Cardinal acquired the P4 business as part of its $517 million acquisition of Healthcare Solutions Holding in 2010.