PALO ALTO, CA; December 8, 2004 — Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE: VAR) has added new features to its VARiS Med Oncology™ electronic health record software to support a nationwide study aimed at alleviating discomfort and reducing costs for cancer patients under going chemotherapy. Clinics using the VARiS MedOncology software can record important data and receive reimbursement for participating in the one-year study by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS). According to an announcement by the CMS Office of External Affairs last month, CMS intends the information generated by this research project to help clinicians intervene to reduce some treatment side effects and associated hospitalizations.
“We want to make it very easy for treatment centers using the VARiS MedOncology electronic health record to participate in this important project, ” said Marion Kullberg, Product Manager for Medical Oncology.
The VARiS MedOncology software now enables clinicians to easily collect, rank, and record information about chemotherapy side effects -- including pain, nausea, and fatigue levels at the time of each treatment, using a standard format and codes established by CMS. According to the CMS, Oncology practices that submit data to CMS will qualify for an additional payment of $130 per chemotherapy treatment visit.
“CMS stated goal is to look at how patients are doing with respect to the most common side effects of chemotherapy and how best to alleviate their discomfort,” Kullberg said.“We are pleased to provide our customers with a tool that facilitates participation.”
Using the existing assessment tools in the VARiS MedOncology software, clinicians will be able to automatically generate the new CMS billing codes. This updated capability is available now for existing users with VARiS MedOncology versions 6.5 or 7.
# # #