Fort Myers, Fla., Mar. 16, 2022 – Overshadowed in recent years by the pandemic, cancer remains the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.8 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year and 600,000 die from the disease. Out of those 1.8 million Americans, many continue to face barriers to receiving care.
Despite the rapid advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, long-standing health inequities such as access to care caused by geographical location and income are just a few of the factors that can negatively impact cancer care.
Community oncology practices, where most Americans battling cancer receive treatment, are key to this effort in closing the gap in cancer care. 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 innovative therapies including immunotherapy, precision medicine and access to research, all at a lower cost to patients and payers.
American Oncology Network, LLC (AON), a high-growth medical oncology provider with a focus on supporting the long-term viability of oncology treatment in community-based settings remains committed to closing the gap in cancer care ensuring every patient has access to the care needed to help fight their cancer.
Just over three years since its inception, the AON network has expanded to include more than 190 physicians and advanced practice providers in over 70 clinics across 16 states. With practices in some of the most densely populated cities to more rural areas where medical resources are scarce, AON’s mission is to provide the best cancer care that is affordable and close to where patients live.
“We have made great strides in just three years,” noted AON Chief Executive Officer Todd Schonherz. “Close to 160,000 patients have received treatment at AON clinics across the country and we’ve welcomed over 70,000 new patients. Our in-house laboratory has processed over 7.7 million clinical lab tests and almost 6,100 pathology specimens. And our specialty pharmacy has delivered over 63,540 scripts.”
While diagnostic and therapeutic advances have led to increased cancer survival and remission rates, as well as a higher quality of life, these advances can too often result in exorbitant treatment costs, particularly when delivered by a hospital system. According to data by Health 2018, 62% of cancer patients report being in debt due to their treatment, 55% accrue at least $10,000 in debt, while 3% file for bankruptcy. In fact, each year cancer costs in America exceed $80 billion.
AON practices are focused on providing the best oncology care while also responsibly controlling cancer costs for patients and associated insurance plans. This combination ensures the best possible outcomes while reducing financial burdens. Through strategic partnerships, AON and its practices continue to help patients with rising out-of-pocket costs. In 2021 alone, as patients endured even greater financial difficulties resulting from the pandemic, AON sourced over $26 million in free medications and $22 million in financial assistance for patients.
“As the Oncology Care Model terms this year with no clear replacement in sight and as pharmacy benefit managers continue their extortion of oncology pharmacies, I am thankful to be part of a larger team such as AON with the resources and talent to navigate these waters,” said Genesis Cancer and Blood Institute Medical Oncologist Dr. Stephen “Fred” Divers. “AON’s visionary drivers are founded on helping community oncology practices thrive ensuring patients have access to exceptional cancer care close to home.” Dr. Divers also serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Oncology Alliance dedicated to advocating for community oncology practices and the patients they serve and is Chairman of the AON Advisory Board.
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. Launched in 2018, the rapidly growing AON network represents 107 physicians and 85 nurse practitioners and physician assistants practicing across 17 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.
American Oncology Network, LLC
Caroline Hewitt, Vice President of Marketing