AfPA Video Navigates Clinical Pathways’ Effect on Personalized Care

by Amanda Conschafter, blog editor

Will cost-focused clinical pathways derail personalized health care? A newly released video from the Alliance for Patient Access explores this question by considering how clinical pathways affect patients, their care regimen and their relationship with their health care providers.

As the video explains, clinical pathways streamline care by steering patients toward predetermined treatment options in a predetermined order. Insurance companies encourage their use with high-cost conditions, particularly cancer.

But too much emphasis on cost-cutting could impact patients’ ability to receive personalized, physician-led care. As “Clinical Pathways: When Personalized Health Care Goes Off Course” notes:

  • Clinical pathways vary in quality. Some reflect physician input and current research; others focus primarily on cost-cutting.
  • Cost-focused pathways can impose a one-size-fits-all approach to patient care – displacing the physician-patient relationship.
  • Clinical pathways can also impede patient access by requiring patients to first try low-cost medications before they can consider more costly – but potentially beneficial – alternatives.

Patients fare best, the video surmises, when the physician-patient relationship – not cost-cutting tactics – guides care decisions. Watch AfPA’s “Clinical Pathways: When Personalized Health Care Goes off Course” to learn more.


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