How One Oncology Practice Took Advantage of Economies of Scale

Tony Berberabe, MPH @OncBiz_Wiz
Published: Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013

Local community oncology practices face economic pressures from all sides. From decreasing private and public reimbursement rates to managing the implications of healthcare reform—these are some of the challenges community practices must navigate.

But one oncology practice in Florida seems to have been able to meet these challenges by adapting its practice model, taking advantage of economies of scale, and identifying new revenue streams, while still providing quality care and keeping its oncologists satisfied professionally.

Florida Cancer Specialists (FCS) was established in 1984 as a small group practice, and quickly grew to amass over 160 physicians, 100 nurse practitioners, and more than 70 clinical sites within its network. The practice and its remarkable success story was highlighted in a recent Oncology article.

Size matters

Because of its size, FCS is able to provide newer (and more expensive) cancer therapies to its patients, something that small groups may find cost prohibitive. Providing care in a location that’s close to home means patients avoid long and difficult trips to large academic centers or hospitals. In addition, FCS has centralized many of its infusion services, resulting in optimal inventory control and rapid delivery of chemotherapy agents to clinic patients. FCS has also developed a retail pharmacy that’s managed by experienced pharmacists who deliver clinical care. Additionally, financial counselors are available to advise patients about the high cost of therapies.

Pathology and radiology services have also become integrated services provided by FCS. Bone marrow biopsies and flow cytometry specimens are reviewed by pathologists, and results are populated automatically and seamlessly into patients’ electronic medical records (EMRs). Implementing a coordinated EMR system was a cornerstone to FCS’s success, especially from the payer perspective.

Corporate governance infrastructure was set up to encourage partner physician input, with the practice divided into eight regions. Each region selects a physician representative to serve on the FCS executive board, governed by the managing partner and CEO.

To read more about FCS’s road to success, click here:

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 18th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress®Oct 31, 20181.5
Provider and Caregiver Connection™: Addressing Patient Concerns While Managing Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and VomitingOct 31, 20182.0
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