Highmark Cancer Collaborative

United with purpose. Determined to defeat cancer.

Delivering personalized cancer care to western pennsylvania

Quality cancer care is at a crossroads. While there are many new, innovative treatments, therapies and medicines available today for patients, access can be limited and skyrocketing costs can make getting the care you need often unobtainable.

To provide the highest quality care and the highest value cancer care plan, you need a great team. That’s why we’ve partnered with Highmark and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center to bring you the Highmark Cancer Collaborative, benefitting patients in Pittsburgh, Erie, and the surrounding communities.

This collaborative partnership will break down many of the barriers, including cost, to what should be routine access to care – delivering the care you need in the communities where you live, close to home.

This streamlined approach to care means that doctors in our seven hospitals and more than 50 Cancer Institute clinics in western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, and Erie, can better focus on caring for patients like you, so you can focus on getting well.

Think of our collaborative as cancer’s worst enemy and your best chance to outsmart cancer for good – and live your life to its healthiest potential.

Click on the links below to learn more about the Highmark Cancer Collaborative and how we’re taking the fight directly to the enemy.

The collaborative - coordinating cancer care in a whole new way

The same old routine isn’t how we do things. That’s why we’re collaborating with some big names you might recognize – Highmark and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Together we plan to establish completely new best practices in cancer care.

But that’s not all. As part of those best practices, all of us have a combined mission: to offer patients high quality care, with patient experiences and outcomes that are among the best in the region. And to make it even better we’re giving employers, and all of their employees like you, health care coverage you need, wherever you need it in your community close to home.

Your Cancer Care Collective includes:

  • Highmark. For 75 years, Highmark has been working to build healthier, stronger communities with patient centered health coverage at you doctor’s office, in your workplace, and at home in your community. Our mission is to make high-quality health care readily available, easily understandable and truly affordable in all of the communities we serve.
  • The Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute. Ranked as the #1 Large Health System for Cancer Care, we’re breaking new ground through innovative clinical trials and compassionate, high-quality, patient centered care for every type of cancer, especially yours. Our seven hospitals and more than 50 Cancer Institute clinics serve patients form western Pennsylvania, Erie, West Virginia, and Ohio, and help you get the care that’s right for you.
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine Kimmel Cancer Center. Since 1973, we’ve led the world in understanding how cancer works and finding new ways to treat it. We’re one of the first institutions to be recognized by the National Cancer Institute and earn recognition as a “Center of Excellence” and one of only 45 cancer centers in the country to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center with active programs in clinical and laboratory research, education, community outreach, and prevention and control of cancer.

Working together to outsmart cancer

Advancements in cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment are leading to better outcomes for many patients. However, even though more people are surviving cancer and living longer than ever before, the following challenges remain:

  • Patients sometimes don’t get the right types and right amount of treatment.
  • Unwarranted variation and fragmented care lead to higher costs, lower quality and greater safety risks.
  • Adults with cancer are three times more likely to declare bankruptcy.*
  • Costs for cancer care therapy grow every year and costs are expected to soar in the U.S. to nearly $207 billion by 2020.**

*Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, June 2013, Health Affairs
** The National Cancer Institute estimates

That’s why the Highmark Cancer Collaborative is working for change. By collaborating with doctors on a new level we’re changing the way cancer is accessed, delivered, and covered. Our patient-centered initiatives are focused on providing the best possible cancer care with the highest quality doctors. Together, we’ll not only increase safety we’ll also keep costs under control, enhance efficiency of care delivery and improve your healthy outcome.

We're changing cancer care for you

First, we’re improving how doctors care for you patients (like you). The how is relatively simple.

  • We start by implementing cancer care treatment protocols and procedures that are powered by best-in-class guidelines from the National Comprehensive Care Network (NCCN).
  • We also support doctors and oncology clinicians with new decision-support software that helps them make the best possible (most appropriate and cost-effective) options for patients.
  • And new payment methods (easier with less red tape) support physician-directed care.

Second, we’re bending the cost curve, so patients and health plan members like you pay less. The why is crystal clear.

  • Giving you authorization for high-cost drugs in advance makes more sense and helps ensure you get the appropriate treatment you need.
  • We’re also changing the way cancer drugs are purchased with specialty pharmacies that correct inefficient industry practices that drive up costs.
  • We increase access to specialty drugs by working with pharmacies in new and innovative ways.
  • And by aligning reimbursements for doctors with new and proven standards for care, we’re improving overall quality and healthy outcomes for our patients.

Lastly, we’re breaking down the barriers to care – to give you greater access to the latest treatments and clinical studies that can ultimately help you be well.

  • Through the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center we offer access to early stage clinical trials and provide second opinions for rare and complex cancers.
  • To provide more convenient care outside of the hospital setting, we’re expanding options to include more comfortable outpatient locations in the communities where you live, so you can be close to home.
  • We’re also reducing many of the typical administrative barriers to care and streamlining our processes to make them work better for doctors, employers and our patients.

The advantage to patients

You receive the most advanced, proven treatments, closer to home.

  • As a patient, you get access to experienced local doctors with the best safety scores and success rates for healthy care outcomes.

You get more options for better care and a healthy end result.

  • For rare or complex cancers, patients can easily get second opinions and take part in early-phase clinical trials through the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
  • You get a voice in the choice where you want to receive care – whether at the hospital, your doctor’s office, or at home. And with choice you also get greater savings and convenience.

You get care that’s more personalized, more focused on you.

  • We believe every cancer patient deserves and needs best-in-class treatment, including the right amount of care, testing, and medication based on their needs and quality guidelines.
  • Our patients’ care plans are built on evidence-based pathways with a proven track record of consistency and success and then tailored to each patient’s individual needs.

The advantage to employers

When cancer care is better coordinated and more efficient it’s also safer and less costly for employees. For example, we’re partnering with drug companies to keep maintenance drugs more affordable during treatment, recovery, and remission – so employees can save money. The Highmark Cancer Collaborative also offers:

  • Improved safety and quality of care based on comprehensive, proven national guidelines.
  • Better outcomes for patients and a more productive workforce.
  • A higher value for a companies’ investment in its employee’s healthcare.
  • Improved access to top rate care regionally, supplemented with world-class research for more cost effective treatment, thereby lowering costs and enabling greater health for employees.

This streamlined, multidisciplinary approach means that doctors can focus on patient care, companies can focus on their business instead of health care, and patients can focus on everyone’s #1 priority – their ability to get well and live a healthier life.

Contact us

Call the AHN Cancer Help Line anytime at (412) NURSE-4-U (412) 687-7348 to schedule a cancer-related appointment or to just talk with our nurses about diagnoses, treatments, and side effects.