There has been significant improvement in payers' understanding of site of care issues, but steps still need to be taken to address these issues, said Lucio Gordan, MD, president and managing physician at Florida Cancer Specialists.
There has been significant improvement in understanding site of care issues among payers, but steps still need to be taken to address these issues, said Lucio Gordan, MD, president and managing physician at Florida Cancer Specialists.
Have you seen any shifts that suggest payers are recognizing cost differentials between hospital and community oncology settings for cancer care?
I have seen a significant improvement in understanding of the site of care issues as far as cost, as we compare hospital systems versus community oncology. I haven't seen enough action and results yet. Clearly, the payers do understand the dynamics and the importance of fixing the issue. Hopefully we'll get there. The steps have been small and moving slowly, but I'm relatively optimistic that we'll get there hopefully in the near future, as far as improved transition from site of care from hospital based to community based systems.
What are the most important lessons regarding survivorship care from your experience at Florida Cancer Specialists?
Survivorship care is extraordinarily important. Of course, these are patients that will follow up with us indefinitely, even when the acute initial journey with cancer diagnosis and treatment is over. We continue to take care of these patients after the initial treatment. We have learned that we have to integrate the care better with community physicians, family physicians, internal medicine. We have learned that we have to have protocols to bring these patients back in a certain timeframe and to help with the standard of care. We have learned that the patients really want to continue to follow up with us in community oncology. They obviously trust their family physicians, internal medicine physicians, but they do want to maintain the connection with a cancer physician. We have learned that we have to integrate other modalities of care such as nutrition, dietitian, acupuncture, behavioral sciences, and other elements that are important in keeping patients happy and healthy.