Medica and Minnesota Oncology Collaborate to Improve Patient Support Services

March 26, 2015

St. Paul, Minn. and Minnetonka, Minn. (March 26, 2015) Minnesota Oncology, the premier cancer physician group throughout the Twin Cities and an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, today announced that as of January 1, 2015, select Medica members have access to a comprehensive cancer care management program. This program looks at opportunities to more effectively use clinically proven care guidelines, provide members with proactive nursing support between treatment visits when complications are most likely to occur, and implement additional quality improvement measures. The goal is for cancer patients to receive effective, safe treatment with reduced side effects and lower overall costs.

“The program will provide qualified patients with additional disease management resources,” said Nicole Hartung, MD, medical director of Quality for Minnesota Oncology. “By proactively addressing symptoms of cancer treatment, we can enhance the overall patient experience. Our goal is for patients to have an improved quality of life despite their diagnosis and treatment.”

This new program utilizes Innovent Oncology, a McKesson Specialty Health program designed by physicians to expand patient access to high-quality, evidence-based medicine and proactive patient cancer care. Innovent Oncology technology coupled with local Minnesota Oncology staffing offer solutions that integrate evidence-based treatment pathways, patient support services algorithms and advance care planning processes to improve clinical outcomes while addressing costs. In addition, other quality improvement mechanisms will be implemented that Minnesota Oncology has internally developed to decrease hospitalizations and emergency department visits.   

“We are pleased to collaborate with Minnesota Oncology to offer our members access to comprehensive cancer management,” said Daniel Trajano, MD, MBA, vice president of Population Health for Medica. “Our members will receive a higher level of personalized quality care, giving them additional support and guidance during this difficult time while providing the best opportunity for a positive outcome.”

In addition to improving the patient experience, the overall program aims to manage healthcare costs by driving fewer hospital visits and emergency room admits through the use of proactive nursing disease management phone calls and same-day visits to help patients manage symptoms between physician visits. Patients also receive assistance completing an advance care directive, giving them a voice in their care throughout their treatment path.

“Minnesota Oncology is providing a unique program to Medica member patients that provides a high level of quality care and support through the patient’s cancer treatment program,” said Marcus Neubauer, MD, medical director, Oncology Services, McKesson Specialty Health. “The Innovent program focuses on the proven key drivers of quality cancer care, helping patients achieve optimal outcomes.”

About Minnesota Oncology

Minnesota Oncology is a group of more than 70 oncology and hematology specialists dedicated solely to the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers – lung, breast, gynecological, colorectal, prostate and others – as well as many blood disorders. It has 11 locations across the Twin Cities metropolitan area and is an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest cancer treatment and research networks. Minnesota Oncology participates in research in collaboration with the Twin Cities National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program, US Oncology Research and Virginia Piper Cancer Institute. For more information, please visit

About Medica

Serving about 1.5 million members, Medica is a health insurance company headquartered in Minneapolis and active in the Upper Midwest. The non-profit company provides healthcare coverage in the employer, individual, Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare Part D markets in Minnesota and a growing number of counties in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Medica also offers national network coverage to employers who also have employees outside the Medica regional network.

Medica's vision is to become the community's health plan of choice, trusted for its integrity, respected for its service, and admired for its commitment to innovation and efficiency. For more information, visit

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