From the Editor

Rumors about the entry of Amazon into the healthcare arena have been circulating for years. Now, it has become a reality in all 50 states. Although there is no guarantee that this venture will be successful, it is likely to become a seismic event for all healthcare providers and patients. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge and address its potential impact sooner rather than later. Read Article ›

Last year was an adventure. We learned a lot, and we changed even more. Many of us woke up on January 1, 2021, wondering what the new year would bring. We are already getting some answers. Activities and initiatives that slowed down during the learning curve of the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to rev up again. The ushering in of the new administration has opened doors to staffing and policy changes, with new directives being sent out at an unprecedented rate. Read Article ›

No one can say that 2020 has been an ordinary year, although for most of us, it started out in a fairly normal manner. For me, it meant celebrating the New Year, writing, and enjoying some occasional snow. My speaking engagements and travel began ramping up in January, February, and early March, which allowed me to meet with colleagues and clients at practices, hospitals, and conferences. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the bottom dropped out of all our worlds. Read Article ›

In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the oncology community has been buffeted by a cacophony of headlines and concerns regarding the cost of care, value-based performance contracts, staffing shortages, revenue cycles, clinical pathways, and competition. Entire industries, such as medical benefit managers, have sprung up to oversee providers and ensure that they are delivering only medically necessary care. Although we know that all of the things we do on a daily basis are aimed at improving the lives of patients, this extraneous noise can be distracting and disconcerting. Read Article ›

In the best of times, managing an oncology practice is an adventure. Every day the doors to the practice open, and the physicians and staff greet, support, and empower the patients who come in for guidance, diagnosis, and treatment. Read Article ›

Over the past several decades, we have seen the delivery of chemotherapy shift from the hospital inpatient setting to the hospital outpatient setting to the specialized community practice setting. Now, amid the many seismic changes that have been occurring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a battle has emerged over the question of whether a patient’s home should be a site of care for the infusion of certain chemotherapy drugs. Read Article ›

Every cloud has a silver lining. The chaos and uncertainty that the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) brought to the US healthcare system this spring has had a cataclysmic effect on the mainstream adoption of telemedicine and virtual health visits that will probably never be undone. These advances in technology will benefit medical practices and their patients in much needed ways, such as lowering costs, improving patient access, increasing the timeliness of care, and reducing the risk for unnecessary exposure to various elements for patients and staff alike.

Read Article ›

As we enter a new decade, we are seeing a widening gap between those who provide care and those who pay for care. This growing divergence is evidenced, in part, by the different sources being used for clinical pathways and authorized coverage for payment. Initially, payers tend to consider national guidelines, such as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology, as a starting point for acceptable treatment choices made by physicians, but then refer to internal policies or external vendors to narrow the parameters required for clinical and payment coverage. Read Article ›

Still waters run deep. While cancer centers and practices continue to navigate the highly visible challenges of operations, reimbursement, and competition, as well as Medicare and private payer relationships, other potential hazards may be lurking just out of sight. This article discusses 3 areas where activity in your local market could suddenly surface and completely change the environment in which you provide care. Read Article ›

Although our top priority is to provide high-quality care, we often encounter barriers and hurdles that can affect where, when, and how we interact with our patients and staff. Given the increased focus on the acquisition, handling, preparation, and administration of drugs in medical practices—especially oncology practices—we are now being challenged with existing and emerging restrictions and expectations, which are continually in a state of transition. In this article, I want to share 3 important tips that will help you be more prepared and protected this fall. Read Article ›

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