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CVS Health launches oncology care program

Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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CVS Health today announced Transform Oncology Care, anchored on a first-of-its-kind precision medicine strategy for payers.

The program uses genomic testing results at the point-of-prescribing to help patients start on the best treatment, faster and in addition, matches eligible patients to clinical trials.

Transform Oncology Care also uses the company's local footprint and unique assets to improve patient outcomes and lower overall costs at every point of the cancer care journey.

"Timing in cancer care is everything and when a patient does not get started on the right treatment it can result in progression and higher costs," said Alan Lotvin, CVS Health executive vice president and chief transformation officer. "We are the first company working to make the latest in precision medicine accessible to more patients and further empower informed treatment decision-making based on a patient's genetic profile to give them the best chance for successful treatment and improved quality-of-life."

The innovative precision medicine strategy, delivered in close coordination with oncologists, uses results of broad-panel gene sequencing tests and the latest National Comprehensive Cancer Network treatment and supportive care guidelines to help oncologists identify and start their patients on the most precise, appropriate treatment regimen based on their clinical and genetic profiles.

Therapeutic regimens that align to NCCN guidelines, including those matched with the results of the broad-panel gene sequencing tests, will automatically receive prior authorization approval, speeding time to start of the therapy for patients. The strategy is enabled by an innovative collaboration with Tempus, a technology company advancing precision medicine through the practical application of artificial intelligence in healthcare.

"CVS Health is making great strides in advancing patient care, and we are thrilled to contribute the benefits of genomic testing to these efforts," Ryan Fukushima, Tempus chief operating officer said. "We believe this collaboration has real potential to personalize treatment for patients while also reducing the total cost of care."

Today, the majority of cancers when diagnosed early can be effectively managed, treated or even cured. For patients diagnosed with late-stage cancers, however, many can benefit from advanced genomic testing, yet very few eligible patients receive this type of testing today. This can inhibit the start of the most appropriate treatment and result in cancer progression and higher costs.

For these patients, a web-based provider portal, built into the e-prescribing workflow, informs oncologists of the availability of Tempus' broad-panel gene sequencing tests at diagnosis, which are more comprehensive than the single-gene tests that are used today. The broad-panel tests identify a patient's genomic variants and the therapeutic options specific to their molecular and clinical profile.

The testing results also match and help support the rapid enrollment of eligible patients in local clinical trials through Tempus' proprietary platform, facilitating broader access to experimental therapies. In addition, the portal provides oncologists real-time access to the latest NCCN guidelines at the point-of-prescribing.

The program includes CVS Health nurse-led care management, integrated with payer's existing programs, to create a more personalized experience for patients and their caregivers and close existing gaps in care. In addition, payers can adopt value-based contracts that employ provider networks to drive high-quality care and lower costs.

Transform Oncology Care also uses the CVS Health's accessible, local footprint, connected data and integrated systems to help better identify and intervene with patients who could benefit from preventive or screening services.

Transform Oncology Care is available to other health plans. Aetna has adopted the program for fully insured commercial populations and is rolling it out with participating Aetna provider networks in 12 states.