A pilot program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston that bundles payments for patients newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer is gaining traction, and similar programs may soon be implemented elsewhere.
Explore this issue:September 2015
The novel plan, which began at the end of 2014, will see insurance company United Healthcare, based in Minnetonka, Minn., reimburse the hospital with a predetermined figure for a year of treatment. The payment would cover surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and all diagnostics. Through July 20, more than 30 patients have been enrolled in the program. All head and neck cancers, except for nasopharyngeal cancer, are eligible. Patients will be enrolled through the end of 2016.
“I think it’s going well,” said Randal Weber, MD, FACS, chair of head and neck surgery at MD Anderson and president of the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOto).