A new report identifying trends in MCO management of multiple sclerosis also identifies gaps that could hinder the care of MS patients. Stakeholders say the nature of MS and its treatment offer collaboration opportunities that can help to close those gaps.
In managing the care of members with multiple sclerosis, MCOs use many of the same tools they employ to manage the care of people with other chronic illnesses. But in some respects, the nature of MS and its treatment differ from other chronic conditions where biologics are commonly part of the treatment mix — enough so to foster opportunities for stakeholder collaboration that can facilitate high-quality, cost-effective care.
That’s the take of several experts following the release of the Multiple Sclerosis Report: Perspectives from Managed Care, Providers, and Patients. The report, sponsored by Teva Neuroscience and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), examines current trends in managing MS, including treatment, reimbursement, specialty pharmacy, disease management, and benefit design. It also communicates the viewpoints of diverse stakeholders, including MCOs, specialty pharmacies, physicians, and patients, whose responses converge on a common theme: collaboration.
“Collaboration among healthcare stakeholders is the key to successful MS management,” says Peter Kwok, PharmD, principal of PNK Associates, in San Ramon, Calif. “This disease fits all the criteria for case management: a long-term, slowly progressive condition with clear, measurable outcomes; high expenditures; and a reasonable clinical return on investment. And it affects a relatively small number of patients.”