CVS Health to offer oncology program using genomics, other technology

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CVS Health is launching a new precision medicine strategy for payers that will incorporate genomics and technology.

The new Transform Oncology Care, a comprehensive oncology management program, will use genomic testing results at the point-of-prescribing to help patients get started sooner on the best treatment and also helps match eligible patients to clinical trials, CVS Health executives say.

CVS has tapped Tempus, a precision medicine technology company that uses artificial intelligence, to help with the program.

"Timing in cancer care is everything, and when a patient does not get started on the right treatment, it can result in progression and higher costs," says Alan Lotvin, MD, executive vice president and chief transformation officer for CVS Health. "We are the first company working to make the latest in precision medicine accessible to more patients and further empower informed treatment decision-making based on a patient's genetic profile to give them the best chance for successful treatment and improved quality of life."

Therapeutic regimens that align to National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, including those matched with the results of the broad-panel gene sequencing tests, will automatically receive prior authorization approval, speeding therapy for patients, CVS said.

Ryan Fukushima, chief operating officer of Tempus, says the collaboration has real potential to personalize treatment for patients while also reducing the total cost of care.

According to CVS Health, patients diagnosed with late-stage cancers can benefit from advanced genomic testing; however, very few eligible patients now receive this type of testing. The new program will offer these patients a web-based provider portal built into the e-prescribing workflow to inform oncologists of the availability of Tempus' broad-panel gene sequencing tests at diagnosis. These tests are more comprehensive than the single-gene tests that are used today.

The program will also combine nurse-led care management through CVS Health with a payer's existing programs, CVS says. In addition, the program enables payers to use value-based care contracts. Transform Oncology Care also uses the CVS Health's data and integrated systems to identify patients who could benefit from preventive or screening services.

Transform Oncology Care is available to other health plans, and Aetna has adopted the program for fully insured commercial populations and is rolling it out with participating Aetna provider networks in 12 states, CVS says.

CVS Health serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products.

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