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Nat Turner on the Main Barriers for Flatiron Health in Providing Care in Oncology

Nat Turner, co-founder and CEO of Flatiron Health, says that clinical research accessibility is one of the biggest barriers in oncology care that Flatiron Health is working to remove.


Nat Turner, co-founder and CEO of Flatiron Health, says that clinical research accessibility is one of the biggest barriers in oncology care that Flatiron Health is working to remove.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What are the main barriers to providing care in oncology that Flatiron Health is trying to remove?

I would say, in no particular order, but clinical research accessibility. For access, it’s really hard as a community practice to attract great clinical trials, you can if you have a local affiliation with a hospital, but if you’re just a small independent practice access to clinical research can be tough.  Second, you have to be very efficient as a practice these days. There’s a lot of shrinking margins, payer pressure, value-based care, and hospital pressure that make it hard to be a practice. There’s a lot of pressures there so we, through software and services, help those practices remain independent even in a low margin environment. Also, I'd say, access to information; so OncoEMR has a lot of content built in, it helps you diagnose patients easier, it helps you make treatment decisions more effectively with integrated content from non-profit institutions. So, it basically provides medical oncologists with at-their-fingertips information because they’re seeing maybe 20 different types of cancer in one day in their patient population.

Are there future areas where Flatiron isn’t currently involved that you see as the next opportunity to help community oncologists?

For sure. I think the biggest areas would be certainly clinical trials—we’re just starting there. We have a relatively nascent product on co-trials that have a long way to go that we’re really excited about. We also need to bring our own clinical trials through sponsors to the table, revenue cycle management—practices need to, in this low margin world, be much better at collecting insurance for their patients for their services provided and our revenue cycle offering is just coming off the shelf. We have only 3 or 4 clients, so we’re really excited to see that develop over time. Practice management software, both developed by Flatiron, but also interfacing with third parties, that’s becoming very critical.

 
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