Oncology Clinic or Hospital, How Do Patients Decide?

New oncology payment models, 340B pricing and disproportionate share hospitals, and the significant difference in reimbursement rates for cancer care services are just some of the challenges faced by community oncology clinics. How do patients make informed decisions on where to go for care?

Colliding federal policies are fomenting a nasty money war that's pitting community oncologists trying to treat patients in less expensive clinic settings against hospitals trying to woo patients in through costlier emergency departments.

In Albuquerque, Barbara McAneny, MD, says evidence of this fight came in an orange postcard a local hospital mass-mailed to area homes. And Tracey Weisberg, MD, of Southern Maine's New England Cancer Specialists is in the middle what she calls "a horrible" fight over a similar issue.

Battles are popping up all over the country, says Ted Okon, executive director of the non-profit Community Oncology Alliance in Washington, D.C., which advocates community cancer care. It's a trend brought on by a "warped system" of federal incentives that encourage hospitals to acquire private oncology practices and take over cancer care from community doctors at an increasingly rapid pace, he says.

Link to the complete article on medpage Today: http://bit.ly/18uKqV8