Panel Discussion: Perspectives on Economics and Outcomes of Community vs Hospital Oncology Practice

Education of both patients and providers will be necessary to temper expectations of cancer care treatment outcomes, according to panelists Ted Okon, BS, MBA, executive director of the Community Oncology Alliance, Debra Patt, MD, MPH, partner at Texas Oncology, and Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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Education of both patients and providers will be necessary to temper expectations of cancer care treatment outcomes, according to panelists Ted Okon, BS, MBA, executive director of the Community Oncology Alliance, Debra Patt, MD, MPH, partner at Texas Oncology, and Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dr Dusetzina, an epidemiologist, said that discussing risk to patients can be difficult, as can explaining that sometimes getting high value care might mean forgoing treatments that have little benefit. Furthermore, patients equate high cost with high value, which isn’t always the case.

“We sort of have to change how society thinks about cancer treatment and I think actually having better transparency and being better educators … to educate society will help in that endeavor,” Dr Patt said.

Mr Okon also expressed repeated concern over the “corporatization” of cancer care, which has led to “bad medicine.”

“We have to realize that [cancer care] also big business,” he said.