Oncology Practices: Where are we going?

Patrick Higgins
Patrick Higgins

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.
-Wayne Gretzky

The next few years promise to bring some radical changes to the healthcare industry, and more specifically, to the way cancer care is delivered, reimbursed, and accessed. This blog will focus on these issues in real time from the perspective of an oncology-based healthcare administrator and oncology practices. We all know that payment reform, meaningful use criteria, telemedicine, outcomes transparency, increased attention to patient satisfaction scores, and so on, will warrant attention and bring about great challenges, but along with these challenges they will undoubtedly offer great opportunity. My colleague, Jonathan Colon, and I will do our best to address the potential impact of each of these topics while providing tips and tricks on how to approach them.

So often in life it is easy to lose sight of the things that really matter in times of change. This can’t happen right now in healthcare, particularly in oncology. This change will provide us the chance to involve patients more intimately in their own care as well as the ability to receive actionable feedback directly from our “customers” in real time.

The needs of patients need to remain in the forefront of every discussion. There is a unique prospect in the next few years to reevaluate and remodel the way we engage with cancer patients. As the paradigm of healthcare shifts, much of the logistical transformation will evolve through the intuition and execution of innovative administrators. While all of this is incredibly exciting, some obvious, and not-so-obvious, impediments inevitably lie ahead. Hopefully we can help to identify ways to creatively think about these issues, and maybe even open up an interactive discussion on how you all are approaching different topics along the way. I think it’s time for us to “skate to where the puck is going to be” together because it certainly won’t remain where it has been for very much longer.

About the Author

Pat graduated from Ursinus College with a major in Business/Economics and a minor in English and is nearing completion of a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Saint Joseph’s University. He has a strong interest in oncology care from the administrative end, and in ways to innovate a better overall patient experience through payment reform, improved technology, outcomes transparency, and patient & physician engagement. He is currently working in business development at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine. In his free time, he is a long-standing member of the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and volunteers at Wissahickon Hospice and Camp Erin.

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