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After partnership with RWJ, Rutgers Cancer Institute offering new treatment, considering payment options for breast cancer

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As Breast Cancer Awareness Month revs along, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey believes a bundled treatment approach to the disease is best.

Thanks in part to the health partnership Rutgers University and RWJBarnabas Health signed in July, the Rutgers Cancer Institute can offer potentially lifesaving bundled care services to breast cancer patients, and is exploring the possibility of offering patients an upfront payment structure as part of its move toward value-based medicine.

Following in the footsteps of Hackensack Meridian Health’s recent announcement that it would offer an upfront payment structure to breast cancer patients, said Dr. Bruce Haffty, a Rutgers Medical School and chair of the radiation oncology unit at the Cancer Institute said Rutgers/RWJ is considering the same thing.

Earlier this month, Dr. Andrew Pecora, chief innovation officer at Hackensack Meridian, announced that the system’s breast cancer treatment center would take upfront payments from breast cancer patients that would cover up to a year’s worth of treatment as part of its move toward value-based care.

Dr. Pecora, speaking at NJ Business and Industry Association’s Innovation Summit earlier this month, argued that the new billing system would make treatment more affordable and simpler for patients, and that doctors could focus more on patients, rather than delivering bulk medicine.

“Upfront payments is something that we’re working toward in collaboration with the RWJ Barnabas system,” Dr. Haffty said in an exclusive interview with NJBIZ. “We’ve been discussing with various insurance companies the idea of upfront payments for radiation treatment. We’re already doing something similar with Medicare. Medicare does have a program, although it’s not specific to breast cancer, where you’re incentivized to deliver on a value-based metric.”

The joint venture between RWJ and Rutgers focuses on providing better access to health care in the state and greater academic and clinical research opportunities – including existing work at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

“Almost all of our breast cancer patients who get radiation with their treatment have that treatment delivered right across the street at RWJ Hospital,” he said.  

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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