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BlueCross, Tennessee Oncology Pilot Digital Tools To Improve Care, Experience For Cancer Patients

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Tennessee Oncology are teaming up to test new tools for improving care coordination and outcomes for cancer patients.

The two companies are launching a six-month pilot program that provides patient engagement support and aims to make it easier for physicians to:

  • use evidence-based care pathways
  • integrate clinical predictive analytics
  • share electronic medical records across care teams

“Tennessee Oncology is dedicated to being on the forefront of cancer care,” said Dr. Jeff Patton, chief executive officer at Tennessee Oncology. “Partnering with BlueCross on this pilot is a natural extension of our shared commitment to providing better patient outcomes and decreasing costs. This program’s use of clinical expertise and advanced technology will help us do both.”

Physicians and care coordinators at Tennessee Oncology will have access to a system called Via Oncology Pathways that provides step-by-step guidance and integrates personalized data about each patient to help with decision support and long-term care planning.

“We’re helping put this in the hands of oncologists and their teams so they can focus on providing the best care to each individual patient,” said Clay Phillips, vice president of network innovation at BlueCross.

For members fighting cancer, the pilot should lead to better symptom management, fewer emergency room visits and fewer unnecessary treatments. They will also have 24/7 access to a team of care coordinators trained to help manage their care plans and answer questions.

“The new pilot program combines medicine and innovation in a new and powerful combination for physicians and patients alike,” said Dr. Natalie Dickson, chief medical officer at Tennessee Oncology. “This program gives us access to the latest tools while simultaneously providing data. Plus, we can document and share our patients’ histories efficiently. The result will improve our patients’ care and experience.”

The pilot includes patients at Saint Thomas West in Nashville. After the first six months, Tennessee Oncology and BlueCross will compare data on patient outcomes with those of two other Saint Thomas facilities to evaluate whether to expand the effort.

“This is just the first of a number of pilots we’ll launch in 2015,” said Phillips. “To bring better health to Tennesseans, we will collaborate with providers to test new ideas and let the data guide us as we move forward.”

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based health care company is focused on serving more than 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA). BCBSA is an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visit the company’s website at

About Tennessee Oncology

Tennessee Oncology, PLLC is one of the nation’s leading teams of cancer care specialists, nationally recognized for improving patient outcomes through clinical trial research and innovative treatments. Its comprehensive range of cancer care services include specialized oncology nursing care, laboratory services, outpatient chemotherapy, PET/CT services and patient education and support services. Founded in 1976, Tennessee Oncology is one of the largest physician-owned practices in the country with more than 80 physicians in 30 locations throughout Middle and Southeast Tennessee. Visit for more information.

Copyright Business Wire 2015