By Jennifer Hinkel, NCCN e-Bulletin Editor-in-Chief
Through an arrangement with NCCN, UnitedHealthcare is offering their in-network physicians and their staff free access to the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium™. The NCCN Compendium includes drug and biologic recommendations that are derived directly from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™. Moreover, the NCCN Compendium is recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a mandated reference for oncology coverage policy.
“We applaud UnitedHealthcare's decision to help support thousands of physicians who use the NCCN Compendium as a reference for the appropriate use of drugs and biologics in patients with cancer,” said William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “This latest collaborative effort reflects UnitedHealthcare's continuing commitment to ensuring physicians and health plan participants have seamless access to quality, evidence-based cancer care.”
UnitedHealthcare began to base its benefit coverage for chemotherapy drugs used in the outpatient setting on the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium™ early last year. At present, UnitedHealthcare is the only health insurance company that provides its in-network physicians with free access to the NCCN Compendium.
“UnitedHealthcare is constantly looking for ways to enhance the quality of oncology care for our health plan customers, and this is another important step in doing so,” said Lee Newcomer, MD, UnitedHealthcare's senior vice president, oncology. “The NCCN Compendium is a trusted source of treatment recommendations that helps eliminate guesswork about coverage of oncology drugs. Making the NCCN Compendium available, and free of charge, saves time for physicians and their staff by eliminating phone calls for coverage confirmation, enabling them to spend more of their time caring for patients.”
To use the NCCN Compendium free of charge, physicians or other health care professionals in UnitedHealthcare's network can log on to UnitedHealthcare's dedicated physician website, www.unitedhealthcareonline.com, and register. Through this process, the usual $499 annual subscription fee to the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium™ will be waived and access will be granted.