Answers to Your Questions About Oncology Consulting and Cancer Program Planning
Why would my institution use or need an outside consulting firm?
An outside consultant can bring immediate value to your hospital or cancer program. Your institution can hire an outside consultant to:
- Bring strategic planning or financial feasibility expertise that supplements institutional talent efficiently– no existing staff member has to wear yet another hat
- Obtain oncology service line expertise and metrics benchmarks that your hospital does not have on hand
- See the situation through fresh, unaligned eyes, without filter or preconceived opinions or loyalties
- Gain speed and efficiency in identifying effective strategies & actions, as well as creating an implementation timetable
- Enable all stakeholders to fully participate in the planning process, without an internal professional also having to serve as the facilitator or coordinator
- Enable your staff to ask the right questions without fear of internal repercussions
What is The Oncology Group’s approach to consulting services?
The Oncology Group works with each client’s leaders and physicians as a consulting partner. We customize our engagement to each client’s specific internal environment and leadership model. Our consultants continually monitor and update your specific metric benchmarks; no client ever receives "canned" or "boilerplate" reports. In fact, we agree with one expert who says, "If you've seen one cancer program, then you’ve seen one cancer program." The Oncology Group senior consultants helped develop and expand more than 300 US cancer programs. Our recommendations and solutions reflect the ever-changing cancer care milieu and your institution’s resources, inner politics and marketplace realities.
Who would lead our strategic planning engagement?
The Oncology Group is a market-specific consulting firm dedicated to oncology services. Each project is led by a senior Project Manager, who has critical command and control authority across the consulting team.
A key point of differentiation is that when you select The Oncology Group, you get senior consultants, each of whom has "talked the talk and walked the walk". That is, they have served as oncology administrators in community or academic centers. The Oncology Group partners and senior consultants are not salesmen, who then punt to junior associates to fulfill your contract.
Does The Oncology Group have an "introductory" service that could result in a comprehensive review of our existing cancer program?
The Oncology Group has designed a short-term program profile and benchmarking option to inventory services and program components. This introductory service module is designed to enable a cancer program to compare and benchmark its volumes, physician demand and referral patterns, facilities and patient satisfaction with cancer programs of similar size. This brief, but thorough, diagnostic review identifies internal strengths and weaknesses, as well assessing marketplace threats and opportunities. Our introductory service can assist your staff in assessing whether it operates with an effective combination of leadership, vision, and resources. These short-term engagements can be completed in three weeks with a minimum investment from the institution. Call us to discuss the value and impact of this limited engagement that can culminate in a brief, but tailored cancer program development plan.
What are the outcomes of a typical The Oncology Group consulting engagement?
Our recommendations are focused on designing solutions that enable patients and their caregivers to easily navigate through the institution’s continuum of cancer care services – inpatient, outpatient (including private practices), outpatient diagnostic services, psycho-social supportive care and survivorship activities. A key outcome of the inclusive group discussion we lead is that parties come together to exchange views, air sometimes disparate solutions and leave collaboratively designing success solutions. Our firm emphasizes data sharing (to ensure all parties are "reading from the same page"), then facilitates small group discussions which target mutual issues of concern and are guided by a continuum of solution options.
What is a Strategic Plan for a Cancer Program? How would it advance our services?
A cancer program Strategic Plan describes the program's goals. Most strategic plans detail:
- Current patient volume and referral data
- Program strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
- Key strategic issues (that may be internal or external, or that may form barriers to reaching future goals)
- A description of the desired future (e.g. integrated patient experience, level of sub-specialization, patient volumes, geographic reach, clinical research volumes, etc.)
- Strategies, tactics, and actions to reach the future goal or vision
- Resources needed to reach and support the desired future
- An implementation timetable with accountability
How much does a typical engagement cost?
We do not have boilerplate recommendations for programs. The cost includes the number of consultants needed, the days on-site and the level of detail that the organization requires for their specific situation. We offer a service called Revenue Recovery that has no upfront cost that can identify charges not captured or billed correctly that can still be billed based on your contracts with payors. The potential revenue identified through this process can fund the program assessment and strategic planning engagements.