As oncologists and oncology practice managers know all too well, the increasing cost of cancer care has created a difficult financial conundrum for many patients with cancer. Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Duke Cancer Institute, was the first to coin the term financial toxicity in the literature. Oncology Practice Management (OPM) asked Dr Zafar for his perspective on this topic.
“Convenient, easy, secure online visits”—so says the tagline for, a HIPAA-compliant, browser-based application for provider–patient online visits.
What does a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-related “incident response” mean to your organization and your oncology practice? Multiple articles and letters have been written on the subject, and the one thing that almost every author agrees on is that incident response must be a team approach: it must be embraced by the top, and permeate throughout the rest of any organization for it to work.
Just when you thought grade school and report cards were a distant memory, here comes a loud wake-up call. Report cards and grading systems are now (or soon will be) very visible parts of our future as healthcare providers. We may create the scores ourselves, publicize rankings we earn, or be judged by rankings that others place on us. The implications of these new grading systems are going to be significant for our business volume and for the payments we receive for the care being delivered.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health has released a 19-page plan to address health equity gaps for underserved Medicare beneficiaries, improve their access to care, and measure the success of this undertaking. The CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare was presented in early September at the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid conference and the 30th anniversary of the “Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health.” The plan represents the first-ever equity program to be developed by CMS.
  • Gefitinib Approved for First-Line Treatment of Metastatic Lung Cancer Associated with EGFR Mutations
  • Sonidegib Approved for Locally Advanced Basal-Cell Carcinoma
  • Brentuximab Vedotin Gets New Indication for Patients with Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Emend Gets Expanded Indication for CINV Prevention in Pediatric Patients
  • Rolapitant a New Antiemetic Option for CINV Prevention
  • Lonsurf a New Oral Combination for Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
  • First Combination of 2 Immunotherapies Approved for Advanced Melanoma
  • Keytruda, plus a Companion Diagnostic, Approved for Metastatic Lung Cancer
All employers, including oncology practices, face human resource (HR) management challenges. For most medical practices, complying with the federal Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division standards or with the minimum wage state laws, and any local ordinances, is especially important, because managers in medical practices may be so focused on caregiving that they lose sight of issues such as the exempt status of employees, the use of interns and independent contractors, and how those HR decisions could affect the employer. In addition, it is possible that many medical practices do not have ready access to, and oversight by, a qualified HR professional, because of their size or their financial situation.
The following sections will assist healthcare professionals and payers by providing appropriate coding and billing information associated with the treatment of patients with prostate cancer. Although new claims cannot be submitted with ICD-9-CM codes as of 10/1/15, these may still be needed for submitting old claims that occurred before 10/1/15. We will, therefore, continue to provide the 2 sets of codes through the end of the year.
End-of-life planning and care have received a lot of attention in recent months. In exploring ways to increase the value of healthcare both in terms of patient satisfaction and cost benefits, health policymakers have zeroed in on end-of-life care expenditures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has found that over 25% of Medicare healthcare spending can be attributed to 5% of Medicare beneficiaries who die annually. The goals of policymakers who are pushing for care planning are to identify a patient’s end-of-life preferences early, and to ensure that subsequent care aligns with these wishes.
A life insurance policy is a contract with an insurance company that will pay your beneficiary a sum of money in the event of your death. Because of its potential to rapidly appreciate in value, along with its tax-favored status (the proceeds your beneficiary receives are generally income tax–free), it can be used to solve even the most complex financial planning challenges.
The following trials represent a selection of key clinical trials that are currently recruiting patients with prostate cancer for inclusion in investigations of new therapies or new combinations of available therapies for patients with prostate cancer. Each trial description includes the NLM Identifier to be used as a reference with The information below can help oncology practice managers and providers direct their eligible patients to one of these clinical trials.

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  • American Health and Drug Benefits
  • Lynx CME
  • Value Based Care in Rheumatology
  • Oncology Practice Management
  • Urology Practice Management