Bradley Prechtl on Factors Oncology Practices Must Consider When Considering an Affiliation Option

March 8, 2020

I think a lot of it is, do you trust the people that you're going to be working with? What does it come down to economically? And then I would say on the third end is what can really be done to enhance patient care? As it relates to the decision that you make, said Bradley Prechtl, MBA, chief executive officer of the American Oncology Network.

I think a lot of it is, do you trust the people that you're going to be working with? What does it come down to economically? And then I would say on the third end is what can really be done to enhance patient care? As it relates to the decision that you make, said Bradley Prechtl, MBA, chief executive officer of the American Oncology Network (AON).

Transcript

Can you discuss how regulatory and court-driven changes may have affected hospital and physician alignment models for oncology practices whether positively or negatively?

There's been quite a bit of regulatory scrutiny of the 340B program over the past couple of years. As a matter of fact, there's been a reduction in the level of reimbursement that not-for-profits get paid under the 340B program. So, it's actually impacted the ability for physicians to be or it to be as attractive of an option to be employed by a hospital system that has 340B drug pricing. There really hasn't been much change on the community side, which we're happy about because we're [AON] community based.

In addition to hospital and physician alignment models, there are a growing number of alternative affiliation and partnership models. What factors must be considered by oncologists when making this decision?

I think there's a lot of factors that you have to consider when you're a physician as to what route to go. Whether to stay in the community as an independent practice, to join 1 of the large practice management groups out there, whether it's AON, OneOncology, or US Oncology, or you end up joining a hospital system. I think a lot of it comes down to what's the best fit, and clearly economics are going to come into play. The amount of independence and autonomy as it relates to what decision you make, but I think it's very hard for, in my opinion, very hard for somebody that's been in private practice to migrate to a hospital employed situation. Obviously, I'm on the outpatient side and a community advocate, but I think there's a lot of factors you have to take into account; but I think a lot of it is, do you trust the people that you're going to be working with? And number 2, really, what does it come down to economically? And then I would say on the third end is what can really be done to enhance patient care? As it relates to the decision that you make.