Entries by Caroline Hewitt

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.

Cancer’s Impact on Mental Health

Cancer is hard – physically and emotionally. The diagnosis alone can trigger fear, uncertainty, and stress, all of which can be exacerbated throughout prognosis discussions, treatment decisions, procedures and just managing the normal activities of daily living with this dark shadow lurking in the background. Which is why supporting a patient’s mental health needs is an important component of a comprehensive care plan.

Dispelling the Myths Around Nutrition and Cancer

Holistic cancer care is enjoying growing popularity as the body of evidence on the benefits of treating the whole patient increases. Yet nutritional support is often overlooked in otherwise comprehensive treatment plans. That is why American Oncology Network (AON) has assembled a team of highly qualified and credentialed oncology dietitians to work with its community practices on ways to integrate personalized nutrition counseling into care plans.

AON Partnership Empowers Hope Cancer Care of Nevada to Achieve its Mission of Providing Patient-Centered Care

Hope Cancer Care of Nevada was established in 2009 by Raja S. Mehdi, MD, a Board-certified medical oncologist to provide state-of-the-art cancer treatment and personally tailored programs designed to put the body, mind, and spirit at ease as it heals. Since then, the center has expanded to two locations where its two physicians, nurse practitioner and 18 support staff provide comprehensive and personalized care to every patient.