January 2016 Edition Vol.11, Issue 1

Discussing Value in Hematology: An On-Conversation with ZS Associates

Discussing Value in Hematology:
A Roundtable With ZS Associates


A survey on “Trends in Value and Practice Management in Hematology” conducted at the 2015 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting by ZS Associates and M3 Global Research revealed common drivers among survey respondents including cost, outcomes, and financial concerns.

Hematologists/oncologists who participated in the survey (n=100) met the requirement of spending the majority of their practice time treating patients. The survey excluded physicians working in a VA or government hospital or those employed with Kaiser Permanente.

OBR discussed the survey’s findings with three experts from ZS Associates: Maria Whitman, Managing Principal of ZS’ Global Oncology and Specialty Therapeutics Practice; Howard Deutsch, Principal and Lead of Managed Care Strategy Practice; and Christina Corridon, Manager in the ZS Oncology vertical.


Below is an excerpt of that conversation.

On Prominence of the Value Dialogue and New Value Frameworks

OBR: Before we get to the survey results, cost and value were discussed at both ASCO and ASH. What do you make of how prominent the value discussion is becoming?

MW: At ASCO this year, the conversation around cost in relation to benefit was significant.  Hematologists at ASH referred more to “value” as a point of discussion.

CC: Hematologists at ASH seemed to see the innovations presented at the conference and those they are adding to prescribing habits today as outweighing potential cost concerns. Hematologists’ deeper focus on the value aspect of therapies only further speaks to the impressiveness of the latest innovations in this space. 

OBR: Earlier this year both ASCO and the NCCN introduced measures of value. What did your survey reveal about how the concept of value is being understood and implemented by hematology practices?

CC: Oncology frameworks are very new to the market and more widespread utilization is yet to be realized.  Our survey findings demonstrate that the ASCO Value Framework and the NCCN Evidence Blocks are emerging levers that are still very new in the market. Only 10% of survey respondents had high awareness of them, while 26% had no awareness. At this point, other strategies from payers are likely having a deeper impact on providers as 70% of respondents reported that most of their decisions are impacted by payer management, particularly in diseases most crowded with treatment options.  

HD: Survey respondents are clearly feeling pressure and some level of scrutiny from payers. Expectations are that the value frameworks are going to be more influential in the future, but tremendous uncertainty exists about how they are going to play out. We are in a transitional time, meaning treatment influences in 5 to 10 years will look much different than they do today, but no one has a consensus about exactly how. 

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