Hematology-Oncology Associates of Northern New Jersey (HOANNJ) Joins Effort to Improve Cancer Care with Via Oncology™ Pathways

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HOANNJ is the Second Oncology Group in New Jersey to Collaborate with Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. to Put Evidence-Based Medicine into Practice with Via Oncology Pathways

Via Oncology: the way forward to consistent, evidence-based cancer care, excellent outcomes and sustainable cost management

We want to cooperate with payers to promote the best standard of care

The delivery of quality oncology care in New Jersey will continue to improve as a result of wider application of Via Oncology™ Pathways, evidenced-based clinical algorithms that standardize best practice cancer treatment, optimize patient outcomes, and promote efficient resource utilization.

Hematology-Oncology Associates of Northern New Jersey (HOANNJ) is implementing Via Oncology Pathways as part of collaborative effort with Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. (Horizon), the oldest and largest health insurer in the state of New Jersey. HOANNJ oncologists will use the Pathways Portal™, Via Oncology's Web-based application for real-time decision support, to apply the Pathways at the point of care and select and implement the best cancer treatment for each individual patient. HOANNJ joins the Center for Cancer Care, Cherry Hill, N.J., in adopting the Pathways in cooperation with Horizon.

"The bottom line is this technology will improve cancer care for our members and help contain medical costs," said Richard Popiel, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer, Horizon. "Via Oncology Pathways help decrease toxicities and side effects for those undergoing cancer treatments and improve outcomes and the patient's quality of life."

"We want to cooperate with payers to promote the best standard of care," said Joanne Gonnella, practice administrator, HOANNJ. "We hope that demonstrating that our physicians standardize treatment according to evidence-based best practices can eliminate the necessity of prior authorization."

"Via Oncology Pathways reflect five years of development by oncologists at UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) and ongoing refinement by committees representing all oncology groups that have adopted the Pathways," said Kathleen Lokay, president, Via Oncology.

Every quarter, 15 disease-specific committees of academic and community-based physicians convene to review and revise the Pathways based on their independent evaluation of the most recent scientific evidence. After evaluating the findings of Phase III peer-reviewed studies, the disease experts on each committee define the single best treatment for each state and stage of disease according to a hierarchy of efficacy, toxicity and cost.

"We find that oncologists' treatment decisions reflect 75 percent to 85 percent concurrence with the Pathways," said Peter G. Ellis, M.D., medical director of Via Oncology and deputy director of clinical services, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Cancer Centers. "But the flexibility to go off-Pathway is important. Scientific evidence informs and guides but cannot replace the clinical expertise of the individual physician who applies the evidence to the clinical state and condition of each patient."

Hematology-Oncology Associates of Northern New Jersey

Hematology-Oncology Associates of Northern New Jersey (HOANNJ), Morristown, N.J., is part of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital. HOANNJ offers the most current chemotherapy and biologic therapies. Our specialists -- Kenneth Adler, M.D., Gary Gerstein, M.D., Steven Papish, M.D., William DeRosa, D.O., Charles Farber, M.D., Ph.D., Michael Scola, M.D., Ellen Early, M.D., Stacey Leibowitz, M.D., Roshini George, D.O., David Gallinson, D.O., Sarada Gurubhagavatula, M.D. and Meryl Ram, M.D. -- have conducted clinical research since 1983. The true difference in the care we provide comes from the outstanding knowledge and experience of our physicians and dedicated team of highly trained oncology nurses. More information is available at http://www.hoannj.com.

About Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc.

Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc., New Jersey's oldest and largest health insurer, is a not-for-profit health services corporation. Horizon serves over 3.6 million members and is headquartered in Newark with offices in Wall, Mt. Laurel, and West Trenton. Horizon provides a wide variety of health and dental insurance products and services, including Medicare and Medicaid products, for businesses and individuals.

About Via Oncology

Via Oncology, LLC, a subsidiary of UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), is the cancer value management solution for oncologists, health systems and payers. Via Oncology Pathways are the only treatment algorithms for cancer that are comprehensive, clinically precise, rigorously developed, and expertly managed. With the Pathways Portal™, a Web-based decision support system, oncologists select a single best treatment for each individual patient based on state and stage of disease. Consistent, evidence-based care, excellent outcomes and sustainable cost management -- that's the Via Oncology solution. Learn more at http://www.viaoncology.com.

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DAVID AQUILINA

Wendy Zellner
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
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