American Oncology Network Expands Pathology Laboratory

Centralized approach to diagnostics providing unique advantages to oncologists and cancer patients

Fort Myers, Fla., September 20, 2019 – Complete, accurate and timely pathology reports are critical to cancer diagnosis and treatment.  While cancer patients rarely, if ever, interact with the skilled physicians who evaluate their cells and tissues, pathologists are integral members of the cancer care team.  To serve its growing network of community-based oncology practices, American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) has doubled the size of its centralized Pathology Laboratory. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled this month at the newly constructed facility located in Fort Myers, Florida.

The AON Pathology Laboratory currently serves nearly 50 physicians in seven states with a testing menu that includes flow cytometry, histology and immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, FISH (florescence in-situ hybridization) and central lab services.  While the type of testing performed at the lab does not depart much from that provided by in-hospital or reference labs, AON’s centralized approach yields numerous advantages to oncologists and their patients.

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“Our lab and our staff are seamlessly integrated into daily patient care and we maintain highly personal communication with the oncologists we serve,” said Dr. Ryan Olson, medical director of AON’s Pathology Laboratory.

“The advantage of having direct access to patient health information through AON’s state-of-the-art electronic medical records system cannot be overstated,” he added. “Because we can see a patient’s complete health history, we know exactly why the testing has been ordered and what questions the oncologist wants answered.”  When a pathologist discovers that additional testing of a specimen is necessary to obtain a more precise diagnosis, they are often able to make the appropriate request immediately, which increases turn-around time and minimizes unnecessary testing.

Despite the fact that the oncologists and pathologists are in different states, they are connected instantly via phone, email or text to discuss special testing requests, for in-depth review of a lab report or for general pathology questions.

The AON Pathology Laboratory has earned “Gold Standard” certification from the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Through consistent use of Lean and Six Sigma tools to engineer process improvements and efficiencies, turnaround times are superior to industry norms. With wait times for test results minimized, patient anxiety can be greatly reduced.

“Since all of our testing is centralized and streamlined, we aim for 75 percent of flow cytometry to be signed out the day after it’s drawn and nearly 100 percent within two days of being drawn,” said Dr. Olson. “Nearly all tests are complete within one week or less, with only the exception of some outsourced molecular testing that can take longer.”

Dr. Michael Castine III, lead physician with Hematology/Oncology Clinic in Baton Rouge, LA, one of the first to join AON in September 2018, says his practice has seen enhanced results through the adoption of best practices and access to increased resources. “Through centralized ancillaries such as clinical lab and pathology, AON helps us take care of our business so we can focus on our patients.”

The Pathology Lab’s new location means there is room to grow. A Cytogenetics Lab Center was recently added.  Dr. Olson and his team of hematopathologists and surgical pathologists are actively exploring the possible expansion of molecular testing to include NGS (next generation sequencing) for both hematologic and surgical pathology specimens.  The team is also positioned to serve the additional five practices in four states that will join AON by the first of next year.

AON CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA says the ongoing investment in pathology services is well placed.  “Pathology is at the core of oncology practice and clinical research and we will continue to make investments to enhance the effectiveness of community-based oncology care.”

“Our world-class pathologists serve and support our partner physicians with specialized expertise that helps to inform and direct the very best care plan and clinical outcome for each patient we serve,” said AON Board Member & Chairman Dr. Stephen Orman

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About American Oncology Network, LLC: (AONcology.com)

American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Founded in 2017, the rapidly growing AON network represents more than 50 physicians and over ten nurse practitioners practicing across seven states. The executive management team of AON brings more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.

The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per-capita cost of cancer care.

AON also provides a unique model of physician led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences will be at the very pinnacle of cancer care today.

For More Information, Contact:
American Oncology Network, LLC
Caroline Hewitt
Director of  Marketing
Caroline.Hewitt@AONcology.com
(239) 789.2341

American Oncology Network, LLC In-House Specialty Pharmacy Supports Delivery of High-Quality Patient-Centered Cancer Care

Now in-network with four of the top five pharmacy benefit managers

Fort Myers, Fla., September 18, 2019 — The use of oral oncolytics, targeted therapies that are taken in an oral form for the treatment of cancer, has increased substantially in the past several years.  Oral anti-cancer medications currently comprise 25 percent to 35 percent of the oncology treatments provided to patients nationwide. To achieve optimal clinical outcomes, however, this ongoing shift from intravenous to oral therapy requires a close partnership among physicians, pharmacists and patients.

The American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) in-house specialty pharmacy works exclusively on behalf of nearly 50 physicians in its growing network of community-based oncology practices to ensure quality and safety and effective treatment outcomes for their patients. With its recent addition to Express-Scripts, the AON Pharmacy is now an in-network provider with four of the top five pharmacy benefits managers in the country.

The centralized state-of-the-art pharmacy, based in Fort Myers, Florida, has ready access to 99 percent of the available oral oncolytics, and can quickly dispense medications and supplies directly to patient homes.  Staff members coordinate insurance claims and even make connections to financial assistance programs. But those are just the beginning steps of this vital partnership.

“Due to the complex nature of many specialty therapies, frequent and direct interaction with patients is critical,” said AON Pharmacy Manager Douglas Braun, CSP, PharmD, RPh.  AON’s pharmacists interact with each patient to explain medications and proper usage, and are available 24/7 to address any concerns that arise.  “With real-time access to patient charts through our electronic medical records system, we’re able to stay in close contact with physicians to monitor therapies and to swiftly address any issues, ensuring that each patient’s treatment is as effective as possible,” he said.

Licensed in 46 states and the District of Columbia, the AON Pharmacy is poised to keep pace and provide centralized pharmacy management services to the five additional practices in four states that will join the AON alliance by the first of next year.

Genesis Cancer Center in Arkansas was among the first to join with AON in September 2018. “Our partnership has given us exposure to best practices in oncology care and we can clearly see the benefits,” said Dr. Stephen “Fred” Divers.  “The access we now have to centralized laboratory and pathology services, oral-oncolytic pharmacy and clinical trials research, for example, provides enormous benefits to patients that we could not have achieved on our own.”

“Working with AON we have gained access to enhanced oral oncolytic pharmacy services and other valuable offerings,” said Dr. Rangappa Rajendra, with Oncology/Hematology of Loudoun and Reston in Virginia. “This has brought additional benefits to my colleagues and me and, ultimately, to our patients.”

AON CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA said, “Managing pharmacy services can be cumbersome and time-consuming for individual practices. The AON Pharmacy maintains a direct connection with our physicians and clinicians so they can focus on taking care of their patients.”

AON Board Member & Chairman Dr. Stephen Orman said, “Because of their expertise and specialized training, our oncology pharmacists and nurses and technicians are uniquely qualified to enhance the patient care experience.”

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About American Oncology Network, LLC: (AONcology.com)

American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Founded in 2017, the rapidly growing AON network represents more than 50 physicians and over ten nurse practitioners practicing across seven states. The executive management team of AON brings more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.

The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per-capita cost of cancer care.

AON also provides a unique model of physician-led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences will be at the very pinnacle of cancer care today.

For More Information, Contact:
American Oncology Network, LLC
Caroline Hewitt
Director of  Marketing
Caroline.Hewitt@AONcology.com
(239) 789.2341

American Oncology Network, LLC Celebrates Its First Year & Impressive Milestones in Helping Community-Based Oncology Practices Thrive

Fort Myers, Fla., September 17, 2019 — Today almost 80 percent of Americans battling cancer receive treatment in a community oncology setting.*  Research has shown that having easy and convenient access to expert physician care and a comprehensive range of treatments and support services close to home is vital to a cancer patient’s well-being.  In addition to providing a comfortable, more personalized environment, community oncology practices provide high-quality, state-of-the art care at a lower cost to patients and payers.

American Oncology Network, LLC (AON), an alliance of physicians and veteran healthcare leaders dedicated to ensuring the long-term success and viability of community-based oncology, this month celebrates the completion of its first year of operation. Within the past 12 months, the AON network has expanded to include nearly 50 physicians and over ten nurse practitioners in seven states. Five additional practices in four states are scheduled to join us as of the first of the year.

“We have made great strides in a very short time,” noted AON CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA.  “Our collaborative approach and physician-led model allows practices to maintain local leadership and autonomy, and gain access to expertise and centralized services that are challenging to maintain independently, yet so critical to the delivery of true value-based care.”

Through access to centralized services such as revenue cycle management, drug purchasing, payer contracting and IT, as well as enhanced services such as pathology and oral-oncolytic pharmacy, AON practices have realized significant results in increased productivity and improved operations.

Genesis Cancer Center in Arkansas was among the first to join with AON in September 2018. “Our partnership has given us exposure to best practices in oncology care and we can clearly see the benefits,” said Dr. Stephen “Fred” Divers. “The access we now have to centralized laboratory and pathology services, oral-oncolytic pharmacy and clinical trials research, for example, provides enormous benefits to patients that we could not have achieved on our own.”

Dr. Gerald Miletello, a medical oncologist with Hematology/Oncology Clinic (HOC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, another AON partner, concurs.  “AON helps us take care of our business so we can focus on our patients.”  HOC, which has two clinic locations in Louisiana and will be relocating to a new state-of-the-art facility in the spring of 2020, began its partnership with AON in September 2018.

AON Board Member & Chairman Dr. Stephen Orman said, “Looking forward, I have no doubt we will continue to preserve and protect the sustainability of community oncology for the benefit of physicians and, most important, the patients they serve.”

*Community Oncology Alliance statistic

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About American Oncology Network, LLC: (AONcology.com)

American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Founded in 2017, the rapidly growing AON network represents nearly 50 physicians and over ten nurse practitioners practicing across seven states. The executive management team of AON brings more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.

The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per-capita cost of cancer care.

AON also provides a unique model of physician led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences will be at the very pinnacle of cancer care today.

For More Information, Contact:
American Oncology Network, LLC
Shelly Glenn
Chief Marketing & Sales Officer
Shelly.Glenn@AONcology.com
(770) 365.6168

Caroline Hewitt
Regional Director of Marketing
Caroline.Hewitt@AONcology.com
(239) 789.2341

American Oncology Network, LLC Expands Board with Physician Appointments

Fort Myers, FLA., September 12, 2019 — The American Oncology Network, LLC (AON), whose mission is to support the long-term viability of community oncology, has named Dr. Vipul Patel and Dr. Craig Reynolds to its Board.  Both Board-certified physicians practice in Florida with Florida Cancer Specialists. The AON Board provides strategic guidance to its growing network of physicians and physician practices, currently in seven states.

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Highly committed to clinical trials research, Dr. Vipul Patel has been published in several prestigious journals, including the International Journal of Cancer. Prior to joining Florida Cancer Specialists, Dr. Patel served as director of clinical trials for an Institutional Review Board in Gaston, NC, with responsibility for protecting the rights and welfare of patients involved in research.  After receiving his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in the West Indies, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA and at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. He is Board certified in medical oncology and hematology.

Dr. Craig Reynolds is a recognized leader in clinical research.  Prior to joining Florida Cancer Specialists in Ocala, Dr. Reynolds served as director of research at the Ocala Oncology Center.  He has provided physician leadership as a member of several national committees and advisory boards, including the Education Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Community Practice Committee of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.  He attended medical school at the University of Miami in Miami, FL and at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.  He completed his internship in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and a fellowship in oncology/hematology at Barnes Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine.

AON CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA said, “With more than three decades of expertise in all areas of oncology practice management, AON enables physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.  The addition of Drs. Patel and Reynolds to our Board strengthens our ability to ensure the long-term success of community oncology.”

Dr. Stephen Orman, AON Board member and Chairman, added, “We’re so pleased to have these experienced and highly respected physicians lend their expertise to help our partners successfully navigate today’s complex healthcare landscape while serving the needs of their patients.”

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About American Oncology Network, LLC: (AONcology.com)

American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Founded in 2017, the rapidly growing AON network represents nearly 50 physicians and over ten nurse practitioners practicing across seven states. The executive management team of AON brings more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.

The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per-capita cost of cancer care.

AON also provides a unique model of physician led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences will be at the very pinnacle of cancer care today.

For More Information, Contact:
American Oncology Network, LLC
Shelly Glenn
Chief Marketing & Sales Officer
Shelly.Glenn@AONcology.com
(770) 365.6168

Caroline Hewitt
Regional Director of Marketing
Caroline.Hewitt@AONcology.com
(239) 789.2341

Hematology/Oncology Clinic Welcomes Dr. Sanjay Juneja

Baton Rouge, LA., September 12, 2019 — The physicians of Hematology/Oncology Clinic (HOC), Dr. Michael Castine III, Dr. Pavani Ellipeddi, Dr. Lauren Juneja, Dr. Christopher McCanless and Dr. Gerald Miletello, are pleased to announce that Medical Oncologist Sanjay K. Juneja, MD has joined the leading community oncology/hematology practice in Baton Rouge, LA.  A division of American Oncology Partners, PA, HOC has office locations in Baton Rouge, at 8595 Picardy Avenue, Suite 400, and a new office in Zachary, at 1673 East Mount Pleasant Drive, Suite F-102.  Dr. Juneja is practicing at both locations.

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Dr. Juneja received his medical degree from Louisiana State University, where he served as student body president his fourth year.  He went on to complete his Internal Medicine residency at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and was awarded Resident of the Year every year of his training.  He was also elected president of the Executive Council comprised of 500+ residents and fellow physicians.  Dr. Juneja completed a fellowship in Hematology & Oncology at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in Shreveport, LA and served as chief fellow his final year.  Throughout his years of medical training he was consistently recognized by his peers and faculty for his leadership, generosity and philanthropic spirit.

Hematology/Oncology Clinic Senior Physician Dr. Gerald Miletello said, “Dr. Juneja joins us not only with outstanding credentials, he shares our philosophy of hope, optimism and caring.  We are delighted to welcome him to our practice.”

AON CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA added, “It is a pleasure to welcome Dr. Juneja to the Hematology/Oncology Clinic and American Oncology Network, LLC.  As a community oncology practice, we remain committed to providing patients with the most advanced and personalized treatments in settings that are convenient and close to home.  I’m confident that Dr. Juneja’s training and experience make him an ideal fit for AON and HOC.”

Dr. Stephen Orman, AON Board member and chairman, stated “Dr Juneja is a highly-dedicated and respected medical oncologist, and an impressive addition to our growing physician network in the Baton Rouge community.”

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About Hematology/Oncology Clinic: (www.hocbr.com)
As specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and cancer, Hematology/Oncology Clinic’s goal is to provide compassionate and supportive care.  Doctor-patient relationships are based on mutual understanding.  Our highly trained and extensively experienced clinical staff consists of Nurse Practitioners, Oncology Certified Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses.  Our philosophy of hope, optimism and caring is also reflected in our office, insurance and business staff.  The physicians at Hematology/Oncology Clinic include Dr. Gerald Miletello, Dr. Christopher McCanless, Dr. Michael J. Castine III, Dr. Pavani Ellipeddi, Dr. Lauren Juneja, and Dr. Sanjay Juneja.

About American Oncology Network, LLC: (AONcology.com)
American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Founded in 2017, the rapidly growing AON network represents nearly 50 physicians and over ten nurse practitioners practicing across seven states. The executive management team of AON brings more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.

The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per-capita cost of cancer care.

AON also provides a unique model of physician led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences will be at the very pinnacle of cancer care today.

For More Information, Contact:
American Oncology Network, LLC
Shelly Glenn, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer
Shelly.Glenn@AONcology.com
(770) 365.6168

Caroline Hewitt
Regional Director of Marketing
Caroline.Hewitt@AONcology.com
(239) 789.2341