Reading Room

Resources for Cancer Center Planning and Oncology Consulting

We like to keep you informed, whether it's news about changes that could affect our industry or updates on cancer services and programs. To view more articles, visit the Reading Room Archives.

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Case Study For Revenue Recovery

Several years ago a stable radiation oncology practice decided to add medical oncology to their program. How hard can medical oncology be? Adding it made perfect sense, as the referrals would boost and solidify their radiation oncology program.

Luckily the full staff of stable, experienced medical oncology personnel transitioned....

 


The Holistic Patient

The word ”cancer“ has stigmatized individuals in society since the disease’s initial discovery. Attitudes and behaviors regarding cancer have created a subculture of people who live their lives branded with a preconceived notion of how cancer looks and feels. According to Jimmie Holland, MD, society’s attitude.....

 


Do You Have A Road Map?

When planning a road trip, you may look at a map to determine the most efficient route, or you might pick a scenic route. Either way, navigating is easy now–just program your trip into your GPS and follow the directions to your destination.

If only it were that easy for everything. Cancer program administrators are expected to navigate the....

 


What Should Net Revenue Be?

"Our net revenues are up $4,000,000 or 8 percent this quarter. Yippeeee! The oncology business is so easy." If only it were that easy. So often the focus is on net revenue compared to prior periods. The real question to ask: is your net revenue what it should be? There may be significant opportunity costs that are never recognized....

 


Are You Ready for Value-Based Payments?

The Association of Cancer Executives (ACE), the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and the Cancer Center Business Summit (CCBS) have all held meetings during the first three months of 2016. I heard a common theme at each of these meetings: oncology is transitioning its focus from volume to value...

 


Medicare’s Oncology Care Management Pilot — How Might It Affect My Practice?

In the previous e-blast, The Oncology Group talked about Medicare’s Oncology Care Model–a pilot program seeking to improve care coordination, appropriateness of care and access to care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy. Medicare received more than 400 letters of intent from providers interested in...

 


Oncology Care Management—The Next Horizon for Value-Based Purchasing

Medicare and other payers have begun transitioning from traditional fee-for-service payment systems to provider compensation that is based on value and quality. By 2016, Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to tie 30 percent of Medicare payments to alternative payment models such as bundled payment arrangements, increasing to...

 


A Case for Revenue Recovery

Often, oncology practices lose income because they miss capturing and billing charges accurately 100% of the time. Fortunately, more often than not, that income can be recovered. With tens—or even hundreds—of thousands of line item transactions to manage, it’s impossible to bill perfectly, even with the....

 


Meeting the Challenge of Educating Newly Diagnosed Patients and their Support System

In today's busy oncology practice, a physician often relies on an oncology nurse to reinforce the informed consent process education he or she has provided to newly diagnosed cancer patients. Oncologists place confidence in their nursing staff to provide comprehensive information on the treatment regimen, the oncolytic agents to be administered...

 


Lessons Not Learned

Recently, a colleague and friend recommended a book called The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. This detailed history of progress in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is scholarly, yet an easy read. While reading it, I was overwhelmed not only by how much we have learned about cancer and its care, but also...

 


What's in a Name?

A physician may interpret these words as cutting edge treatment options for their patients. A nurse may see them as a new type of chemotherapy that will require special training. An administrator may see them as a budget variance on the monthly pharmacy report. The names of these new drugs will evoke a different response based on...

 


Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care:

Is our cancer care delivery system in crisis?

The Institute of Medicine report concludes that the cancer care delivery system is in crisis due to the growing demand for cancer care, increasing complexity of treatment, a shrinking workforce and rising costs...

 


Are You Ready for the Shortage of Oncologists?

In a recent study by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), there is an anticipated supply and demand shortage of medical and radiation oncologists through 2025. This is an update of the 2007 study that estimated a 14% increase in services provided and a 48% demand for services by 2020. The impacts of the...

 


Rural Communities Need for Cancer Care

In discussions with a colleague recently, the conversations centered on the conundrum of cancer care close to home vs. the volume: quality equation. That is, does a community have enough patients to adequately care for cancer patients in a quality manner? Is the program financially feasible in the...

 


Technology Adoption

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Loving new things is the American way. The latest cars are better than old gas-guzzlers. New construction is safer than older construction. And in health care, cutting-edge technology or drugs are often considered better than what came before. Attitudes about cancer care are no different. Adoption of technology–equipment, procedures or pharmaceutical–for our industry tends to follow the...

 


Inspiration versus Intimidation: What type of a leader are you?

Think about the best leaders you know. Are you inspired by their work ethic and leadership abilities or are you intimidated by their behavior? Are you more likely to go the extra mile for the leader that appreciates you and your abilities or the one who tries to intimidate you into better performance? Leadership is managing multiple priorities while...