Bradley Prechtl, MBA, chief executive officer of Florida Cancer Specialists and the American Oncology Network, discusses how partnerships help community practices achieve growth.
Bradley Prechtl, MBA, chief executive officer of Florida Cancer Specialists and the American Oncology Network (AON), discusses how partnerships help community practices achieve growth.
How are partnerships playing a role in achieving growth for community practices, and what value can this add?
Partnerships are critical for smaller practices because I think it’s become so difficult, especially just with the high cost of drugs. Remember, these practices have to spend often times hundreds of thousands of dollars on drugs, put them in their inventory and then hopefully get paid for it after you treat a patient. You might not get paid for 30, 60, 90 days later. In our case, we take that burden away from the practice to have to deal with the cash flow, the negative cash flow of buying the drugs and hoping to get paid.
We’re doing a lot of the backend services, whether its revenue cycle, purchasing, information technology, legal, accounting, finance. So, having the ability to offer those services allows physicians to focus on what’s really important and also gives these practices at the local level the best chance for continuing to keep their doors open.
Typically, 80% of a practice’s expenses are drug related, and with the ever-increasing cost of drugs, they’re being pressed; the margins are shrinking. So, it’s more and more difficult for these practices to remain successful, whereas when they join an organization like AON, we’re bringing them an improved margin on their drugs, we’re giving them access to services they don’t have today, whether it’s laboratory, pathology, specialty pharmacy, they’re a part of the Oncology Care Model. These are things that we bring value, not only financially but equally if not more important clinically.