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Tesh Khullar: Community Oncologists Have to Be Business Experts to Stay Alive

As the health system evolves it will become increasingly important that practices understand business, explained Tesh Khullar, senior vice president of provider solutions at Flatiron Health.


As the health system evolves it will become increasingly important that practices understand business, explained Tesh Khullar, senior vice president of provider solutions at Flatiron Health.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What is the importance of having a good handle on business practice, and what has changed recently to make this more important for community oncologists?

Oncology, especially community oncology, has been under attack for a lot of reasons—I went over 340B as one of the primary reasons. We have a good data that suggests that that’s the main reason why hospitals acquire clinics. Because of that, a lot of clinics over the last, let’s call it 10 years, have been acquired by what I call the Stanford effect. When Stanford acquired clinics in Oakland they got access to pricing and now it’s the cost of care for patients suddenly and dramatically went up.

If practices don’t understand how to run themselves like the hospitals do, as an actual business, they just won’t be able to survive anymore changes associated with reimbursement. Drugs keep going up and immunotherapies are great but they’re extremely expensive. Any subsequent drugs are going to keep going up and hospitals have leverage.

We want to give community oncologists that save leverage but they’ve got to become business experts in order to stay a viable and even to stay in business. So, without community oncology in business, our whole goal of disrupting research into a more cost-effective setting, community oncology doesn’t exist. 

 
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