Horizon, cancer group team up for pilot program

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is partnering with Regional Cancer Care Associates for a pilot program to monitor 2,000 oncology patients after they leave the medical center.

Allen Karp, senior vice president of health care management at Horizon, said the pilot program, which calls for oncology nurse navigators to engage with patients, is important to determine how complications affect patients.

“Instead of reacting to adverse conditions that can arise between cancer treatments, such as dangerously low hemoglobin counts that trigger ER visits and hospital admissions, we’re taking a proactive, coordinated approach to care,” Karp said. “The nurse navigators’ role will be to follow the cancer patients after their treatment, serve as a resource to address their needs and conditions, and remove any barriers to accessing the care they may need.”

Karp added that the navigators’ role also includes connecting patients to community-based services, such as transportation to and from RCCA locations, and to any other facilities and services across the continuum of their cancer care.

“The same patients receiving oncology care have elevated risks for heart failure and other pulmonary diseases. So, closely monitoring, following and caring for cancer patients can go a long way toward pre-empting the onset of other dangerous health conditions,” he said.

Terrill Jordan, CEO and president of Regional Cancer Care Associates, said: “We are excited to participate in this groundbreaking pilot here in New Jersey. This program exemplifies RCCA’s comprehensive approach to caring for our patients. It’s an extension of our oncology medical home, where we ensure high quality ‘total care’ for you and your families.”

He added: “By working more collaboratively with Horizon, we are empowering our physicians and their clinical staff to follow the progress of our patients beyond the four walls of our local clinics. It allows us to coordinate your care with your other health care providers and community support.”