Entries by Caroline Hewitt

Diagnosed With Breast Cancer? Ask These Eight Questions

One in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Early detection and prevention plans are important for slowing the progression of the disease and increasing the rate of survival. Additionally, asking the right questions when diagnosed with cancer is critical, providing essential information for patients who are beginning their journey to recovery.

Natural Hazard Preparedness: Your To-Do List as a Cancer Patient

Natural hazards include severe storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and the like. These situations can easily cause anxiety, stress and even fear of what is to come. These feelings may be heightened if you happen to have a disease or illness that requires specialized medications and medical equipment to manage. Here are five tasks to complete to keep your health in order when dealing with a natural hazard.

Impressive Results with the Oncology Care Model (OCM)

Despite the program’s closure on June 30, 2022, the Oncology Care Model (OCM), an initiative by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), provided participating clinics the opportunity to pioneer a value-based care model focused on decreasing the healthcare costs for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing either chemotherapy or hormonal therapy treatments. Nineteen AON community oncology clinics were part of the initial 200 practices across the nation that were approved to participate in the OCM after successfully meeting the criteria required by the CMS.

Pivoting Toward Oncology’s Future: Perspectives Based on My COA 2022 Experiences

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) annual Community Oncology Conference featured two days packed with medical updates, legislative updates, best practice patterns, patient advocacy efforts, and networking with colleagues and thought leaders. It was a hugely impactful meeting, highlighting and addressing the issues currently facing community oncology practices. This blog shares the main take-aways from the conference, including the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Value-Based Care and OCM: The Federal Program Ends, but our Focus on Value-Based Care Continues

Before 2016, there was little going on regarding value-based care in oncology. After six years, the OCM program is at its end. OCM encouraged participating practices to improve care and lower costs through an episode-based payment model that financially incentivized high-quality coordinated care. Fine in theory, but not so easy in practice. Despite its demise, OCM significantly impacted the practice of oncology, and great strides in patient care were nonetheless realized.

AON Partnership Means Expanding Community-Based Cancer Care Throughout Arizona

Cancer & Blood Specialists of Arizona (CBSA) is a community-based medical oncology, gynecologic oncology, and hematology practice providing treatment for patients diagnosed with all types of cancer and blood disorders. Its experienced physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and clinical support staff deliver compassionate, patient-centered, community-based care throughout the greater Phoenix, Arizona, and surrounding areas.

Study: Infusion Therapy in Community Oncology Practices Less Costly than Hospital-Based Care

Prices for biologics, chemotherapies and other infused cancer drugs and hormonal therapies provided by in-hospital outpatient departments were double those paid in physician offices according to a recent study. The biggest takeaway from the study is that it is much less expensive to provide the same level of care in a community oncology practice than in a hospital-based outpatient center – as much as 35% less in some cases. In the study’s cohort, the savings reached would have been nearly $1.3 billion.

Celebrating Veterans Day: An Interview with Dr. Jonathan Sharrett

November 11 is Veterans Day, celebrating America’s military veterans, their service and the contributions they’ve made to the nation’s well-being and ensuring its freedom. In honor of the holiday and to help celebrate the nation’s veterans, we spoke with Jonathan Sharrett, DO, a Board-certified radiation oncologist with Summit Cancer Centers, an American Oncology Network partner, and Spokane CyberKnife. A military veteran, Dr. Sharrett enlisted into the US Armed Forces after high school and served from 2002 through 2008.