NMDP Advisory Group on Barriers to Transplant (AGBT) Update

Posted April 5th, 2018 by Be The Match and filed in Payer Policy
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The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)Advisory Group on Barriers to Transplant (AGBT) recently met for a full day during Tandem this past February in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This group of accomplished and influential national leaders serves NMDP’s Board of Directors by addressing system issues that could be improved through the collaborative efforts of the transplant provider and health insurance communities.  The group is co-chaired by Dr. Nandita Khera, Medical Oncologist with Mayo Clinic and Dr. Jim Coates, Senior Medical Director of Aetna’s National Medical Excellence Program.

The 2018 group is currently comprised of commercial payers, transplant center administrators, and medical directors  who have an interest in improving access barriers to transplant for patients. Organizations such as Optum, University of North Carolina, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Oregon Health, Interlink Health Services, Anthem, Kaiser Permanente, City of Hope, Sarah Cannon, HRSA, University of Miami, Dana Farber, Cigna, Memorial Sloan Kettering LifeTrac, Northwest Marrow Transplant Program and the Cleveland Clinic are represented this year and we are very fortunate to have them advising our work.

Below is a sneak peek into some of the priorities and projects that emerged during the meeting:

Care Coordination Work Group Update:  The care coordination work group is co-chaired by Dr. Khera and Pat Martin, Anthem’s Specialty Network Director.  This group is charged with identifying challenges and opportunities to improve the coordination of care across the transplant continuum.  The group gave an update on a toolkit being launched that will provide guidance and resources for patients, providers, payers and other transplant center staff as they journey together across the continuum of care for transplant.  Starting with diagnosis and ending with survivorship, the toolkit addresses what typically becomes missed opportunities to educate patients about key aspects of the transplant process.

Timely Referral Work Group Update:  The timely referral work group is currently chaired by Julie Walz, Healthcare Executive consultant formerly with MultiPlan and Dr. Bill Wood, Assistant Professor and Hematologist from UNC Health Care.  This group is charged with identifying challenges and opportunities to improve the timely referral of individuals to transplant.  The group discussed the need to influece hard to reach providers in the community who are not integrated into a health system with a transplant center.  There was agreement that payers may have a role to play in supporting NMDP’s efforts to improve targeted education and outreach to providers in order to improve timely access to transplant.

2018 Priority Highlight:  The advisory group’s priority for 2018 includes understanding the financial toxicity for patients. Financial toxicity describes the out of pocket costs associated with transplant evaluation, treatment and survivorship.  It includes costs payers typically define as co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles among others.  There was agreement within the group that NMDP is well-positioned to partner with transplant centers and payers to implement a policy and research agenda that will systematically remove financial barriers pre and post-transplant.

The advisory group will be meeting this spring and the care coordination toolkit posted online soon so stay tuned for more updates!

One Response to “NMDP Advisory Group on Barriers to Transplant (AGBT) Update”

  1. kathy Marshall says:

    Susan,
    I am so sorry I wasn’t aware that this meeting took place during Tandem. Of course, Tandem was very busy so I missed seeing this. Historically, I have been involved in this group with your Value and Access meetings. I would definitely like to be included in this moving forward since we have an entire marketing strategy for Timely Referral for transplant. Can you please make sure I receive notices when this group meets moving forward? Thank you. Kathy

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