When it comes to achievements in the war against cancer, there’s much to celebrate, ASCO said in its fourth annual report on the state of cancer care in America, which we discuss in our lead story this month for Oncology Business ManagementTM
. For one thing, in recent months, there have been several drug approvals, new indications granted for established drugs, and go-aheads for liquid biopsy testing and next-generation sequencing. All of this gives physicians a broader armamentarium for fighting cancer. More patients than ever before are winning their personal struggles with cancer thanks to advancements in medicine.
However, there is still room for improvement, ASCO noted. There are fewer oncologists to treat rural patients than urban ones, information blocking is preventing useful information from being shared among research organizations that need data to achieve cancer discoveries and improve patient care, and physicians are spending too much time in front of their computers and not enough time working directly with patients, ASCO explained. Read about it on page 10.
The great deal of time that physicians spend behind their computers, as a proportion of their total workday, has long been acknowledged as depriving patients of quality time with providers and contributing to physician burnout. It is also acknowledged that overstressed physicians may deliver lower quality care to their patients. One of the victims of this problem is the oncology practice itself, writer Emily Brill explains in this month’s story on physician overload. Brill’s story discusses some of the strategies that busy oncology practices have employed to keep physician burnout at bay. Read about it on page 12.
Our practice profile this month looks at a group of practitioners in southeastern Pennsylvania, where independent urologists are increasingly targeted by hospital recruiters as the consolidation trend continues. The focus of the profile, Lancaster Urology, is holding its own against the competition. The practice is proud of its clinical trials access, steady growth, unique clinical programs, and innovation. This story is on page 40.
There’s much more in this month’s issue—from a story on immuno-oncology drug inventory financing to status reports on CMS’ value-based program for improving out- comes and lowering costs. Don’t miss any of it!