Beyond the Bottom Line: How AON Pharmacy Achieved Millions in Cost Savings

AON Pharmacy reported a $2 million cost savings through effective processes to reduce waste and unnecessary prescription refills.

The rising costs of prescription drugs, especially oncolytic medications, have consistently been at the forefront of patient care where health systems, physicians, pharmacists and others have remained vigilant in looking for ways to reduce the costs of prescriptions. During these ongoing challenges, AON Pharmacy and its process initiatives have emerged as a successful partner in cost savings. By the end of 2023, the pharmacy achieved cost savings of almost $2 million by performing a comprehensive reassessment before each prescription refill and therefore, reducing wasteful and unneeded refills. 

At the heart of healthcare’s cost dilemma lies the increasing burden of prescription drug expenses. As medication prices soar, patients grapple with the prospects of affordability for both direct and indirect costs, payers face a mounting financial strain of paying for potentially unneeded claims and physicians are left to navigate the task of balancing optimal patient care with economic realities.  

The price of cancer drugs has been on the rise over the past several years — and there is no indication that this sharp increase is on the decline or will plateau. According to the President’s Cancer Panel, between 2009 and 2013, cancer drugs were priced at exceeding $100,000 per patient for one year of treatment, and in 2015, the cost of new cancer medications fell between $7,484 and $21,834.  

Unsurprisingly, one-third of adults have reported being unable to afford these critical medications, as reported in the article “Drug Companies Continue To Hike Prices Above Inflation.” The financial burden is exacerbated because patients often experience a degree of indirect costs associated with their cancer diagnoses. These indirect costs may include expense fluctuations related to a loss or decline in income, transportation costs associated with travel to and from appointments and treatments, and even childcare costs. 

The increase in costs and the inability to afford the medications can have devastating consequences on patients’ cancer journeys and their survival rates. For example, patients may fail to adhere to their prescription schedules to stretch out the supply of medications, allowing the treatment to not be as effective and reducing the quality of life experienced. Patients may also skip or delay paying for other expenses, such as groceries, to save money that can then be used for their prescriptions. 

AON Pharmacy’s achievement is a testament that process improvements can reduce costs for all involved, from patients to physicians to payers, and illustrates their commitment to optimizing patient care while mitigating financial burdens to increase patient care, well-being and quality of life experienced.  

Related: The Benefit of a Centralized Pharmacy 

AON Pharmacy specializes in oral oncolytic medications and is the provider pharmacy for AON practices and patients to ensure seamless care within the network. Its services include insurance and copay assistance, dispensing, shipping, counseling and patient support. The pharmacy is a trusted source for physicians as the electronic medical records connect pharmacists and physicians, enabling them to collaborate effectively on patient medication management to improve timely and appropriate therapy. 

AON Pharmacy holds accreditations from ACHC, NABP and URAC Specialty Pharmacy. 

Related: What Does the URAC Re-Accreditation Mean for You? 

For more information about AON Pharmacy, visit  

AON and Thyme Care: Enabling Practices with Patient-Centered Support Beyond the Clinic

Oncology is facing an inflection point as the industry continues its push toward value-based care. However, successfully scaling and implementing value-based care programs is time and resource-intensive, and can pose significant challenges for individual practices.

American Oncology Network (AON) equips its network physicians with the tools they need to thrive in value-based care arrangements, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest standard of patient care. Through its partnership with Thyme Care, a leading value-based cancer care enabler, AON practices can receive access to 24/7 virtual patient navigation and comprehensive support beyond the clinic for their Enhancing Oncology Model (EOM) patients, improving care outcomes while reducing costs.

Serving as an extension of AON practices, Thyme Care offers patients a dedicated Care Team to help them navigate the clinical, emotional, psychological and social barriers to care while AON oncologists continue to lead clinical decision-making. Thyme Care’s robust analytics capabilities provide continual performance monitoring insights that support practice transformation and data-driven decision-making, enabling success in the EOM.

With a shared drive to empower physicians to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care, AON’s partnership with Thyme Care reduces practice administrative burden, enhances the patient experience and furthers the delivery of true value-based care.

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 Dr. Mehdi, two nurse practitioners and 18 support staff provide comprehensive and personalized care to every patient.

Hope Cancer Care’s mission of treating the whole patient is complemented by its philosophy combining leading medical treatments with the ability to focus solely on patients’ recovery – an approach that allows Hope Cancer Care’s highly trained staff to craft individualized treatment programs for each patient.

AON Partnership Lets Messino Cancer Centers Maintain Independence and Achieve Expansion Goals

Founded by Michael Messino, M.D., Messino Cancer Centers (MCC) in western North Carolina provides treatment for adults diagnosed with all types of cancers and blood disorders. The physicians have a 30-year history of providing highquality, research-backed, personalized care to patients in the community setting— close to their loved ones and where they live and work.

The MCC staff is comprised of experienced physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and a clinical support staff dedicated to providing the most advanced and innovative treatments. Its physicians provide cutting-edge, evidencebased treatment that incorporates personalized medicine, standard and nationally accepted guidelines, and clinical trials. Through its care management team and oncology-certified staff, MCC supports its patients through all phases of diagnosis and treatment.

Based in Asheville, MCC also offers care at five additional sites in WNC—Brevard, Franklin, Marion, Spruce Pine and Sylva.

Partnering with American Oncology Network Helped Zangmeister Cancer Center Improve Revenue While Retaining Independence

Located in Columbus, Ohio, the Zangmeister Cancer Center offers comprehensive cancer and hematology treatment in three locations close to home. It adheres to a holistic approach while providing outpatient treatment for cancer and blood disorders. Its other services include diagnostic imaging, offering most patients access to all of their cancer care under one roof.

Designed for easy access and patient comfort, the center also offers genetic risk evaluations, chemotherapy treatment and other infusions, targeted therapy and immunotherapy, laboratory services, a specialty pharmacy, care management including social services and access to cancer clinical trials. Zangmeister’s 12 highly skilled and compassionate physicians use the latest advancements in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer and blood disorders. Zangmeister Cancer Center prides itself on providing the most innovative cancer care available while meeting the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients. The clinic’s palliative team often serves as their patients’ advocate, helping them understand and manage the issues and problems that accompany the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Partnering with AON Allows Hematology Oncology Clinic to Offer High-Quality, Yet Affordable, Care

With three locations in Louisiana, Hematology Oncology Clinic (HOC) has been treating cancer patients in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities for more than 30 years. This community-based clinic emphasizes personal, affordable care where physicians and nurse practitioners establish trust through creating relationships with their patients as well as the patients’ families and caregivers.

The practice’s staff includes four physicians along with six advanced practitioners, oncology certified registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. HOC provides access to innovative clinical trials, home delivery of oral cancer medications from a specialty, in-house pharmacy, timely labs and pathology reports, and on-site infusion therapy. HOC also offers comprehensive supportive care such as 24/7 access to care management, nutrition counseling and much more.

Genesis Cancer & Blood Institute Teams Up with American Oncology Network to Advance Quality Care, Improve Bottom Line

With two full-time centers in Arkansas, Genesis Cancer and Blood Institute has spent more than 30 years providing care to thousands of patients in Hot Springs and the surrounding communities. The organization approaches care with all aspects of treatment in mind by encouraging positive attitudes, improving medicinal and nutritional therapies and maintaining a warm and comfortable setting.

Genesis physicians emphasize clinical trials and education, and closely onitor results from trials performed domestically and internationally. Along with its dedication to research, Genesis Cancer and Blood Institute prioritizes community involvement. It works closely with Our Promise, a non-profit committed to helping local cancer patients with practical assistance, as well as the American Cancer Society and other charitable endeavors.