AVON, Conn., Aug 03, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –National Imaging Associates (NIA), a subsidiary of Magellan Health Services /quotes/zigman/91048/quotes/nls/mgln MGLN -1.95% , and the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO), the professional medical society established for educational and scientific purposes to advance the science and practice of radiation oncology, today announced the signing of a collaborative agreement. this agreement will create an unprecedented relationship between a professional medical society and a specialty health benefits management organization in the management of radiation oncology programs. The resulting commitment of resources and expertise to radiation oncology benefits management sets the standard for ensuring that an optimal set of guidelines is established to support safe and appropriate patient care and reduce the inappropriate variability of radiation therapy treatment and costs among providers.

Cancer care is one of the fastest growing areas in medicine, due in large part to new technologies, new drugs, new indications for existing drugs, better diagnostic screenings, and an aging population. Radiation therapy is the treatment plan for 60 percent of cancer patients, yet there is considerable variation in how this care is delivered.

According to the agreement, ACRO will have a leading role in the development, maintenance, periodic updating and use of disease site-specific radiation oncology practice guidelines. through this collaborative effort, ACRO will develop uniform national guidelines, owned by ACRO and licensed to NIA with an exclusive endorsement. this effort is designed to improve the delivery of professional radiation oncology services, as well as ancillary and related services, to patients throughout the United States.

upon finalizing the collaborative agreement with ACRO, Tina Blasi, CEO of NIA, commented, “This is a monumental alliance between two organizations with similar missions to improve the quality and clinical appropriateness of patient care. we value our relationship with ACRO, and believe that this focused collaboration will help us continue to advance our commitment to promoting quality, safety and cost-effective care to patients undergoing radiation therapy treatment.”

“One of the primary goals of the collaborative relationship between these two organizations will be enhancing the transparency of our guidelines and approach, as well as minimizing the administrative burden to our clients,” noted Michael Pentecost, M.D., associate chief medical officer for NIA.

J. Michael Kerley, M.D., president of ACRO, commented, “ACRO is delighted to collaborate with NIA on this project by creating a series of evidence-based disease site-specific clinical guidelines that address the current standards of radiation oncology patient care, and which will facilitate a smooth administration of healthcare benefits provided by insurers, employers and others for patients and physicians in an era of healthcare reform that focuses on increasing quality while responsibly controlling costs.”

About ACRO: ACRO is a national specialty medical society that strives to ensure the highest quality care for radiation therapy patients and promote success in the practice of radiation oncology through education, responsible socioeconomic advocacy, and integration of science and technology into clinical practice. with approximately 1,000 members it addresses exclusively the issues facing radiation oncology physicians, through various programs including an annual conference, an official journal, and a practice accreditation program to benefit the public. Its office is in Bethesda, Maryland. For more information, visit .

About Magellan Health Services: Headquartered in Avon, Conn., Magellan Health Services inc. is a leading specialty health care management organization with expertise in managing behavioral health, radiology and specialty pharmaceuticals, as well as public sector pharmacy benefits programs. Magellan delivers innovative solutions to improve quality outcomes and optimize the cost of care for those we serve. Magellan’s customers include health plans, employers and government agencies, serving approximately 31.3 million members in our behavioral health business, 18.9 million members in our radiology benefits management segment, and five million members in our medical pharmacy management product. in addition, the specialty pharmaceutical segment serves 41 health plans and several pharmaceutical manufacturers and state Medicaid programs. The company’s Medicaid Administration segment serves 25 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit .

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SOURCE: Magellan Health Services inc.

Magellan Health Services inc. Media Contact: Christopher Pearsall, 860-507-1923 or ACRO Media Contact: Norman Wallis, 301-718-6539

Copyright Business Wire 2011

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