FRISCO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Community oncologists representing tens of thousands of patient lives recently attended town hall-style events to introduce Community Counts, a physician-led movement focused on giving oncologists a choice in where they deliver cancer care and giving patients a choice in where they receive it. Practice administrators, nurses, manufacturers and other parties related to community oncology also took part in the meetings.
Launched with live events in four cities—Philadelphia, Phoenix, Chicago and Atlanta—Community Counts will now take its message to a broader population, through the distribution and promotion of online education and resources.
“The majority of patients with cancer currently receive their care in the community setting, where treatment has always been quality-oriented and cost effective. Unfortunately, the value that this site of care provides has never been articulated particularly well, so many people, Congress included, have failed to fully recognize it,” said Jeffrey Vacirca, MD, of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates, Long Island, NY, and clinical director of Community Counts. “Historically, many people have falsely believed that the only way to receive optimal care was through an academic medical center. We now have plenty of evidence and data showing that this is not the case and that quality care is available to patients in their communities, close to home.”
Led by ION Solutions, a physician services network for community oncologists and part of AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, Community Counts delivers validated data that demonstrates how community oncology increases patient access to care, with clinical outcomes that are equivalent to other sites of care and at lower costs.
“The majority of all cancer patients are treated in community cancer settings.. Across the country, those community-based practices are dealing with a number of challenges that impact patient access to care and potentially clinical outcomes,” said Barry Fortner, Ph.D., senior vice president, operations for ION Solutions. “Community Counts seeks to address those issues by giving practices the tools they need to remain viable and the unified voice they need to make their value known.”
By reaching out to legislators, policymakers and other key industry decision-makers with data of community oncology’s importance in healthcare delivery, oncologists hope to take greater ownership in their future. Community Counts will help them to:
- Understand how market forces are impacting their practices
- Communicate the value of treatment within the patients’ communities
- Raise awareness of how changes in reimbursement rates could negatively affect patient access to care
As participants in the campaign, practices will receive data that shows measurable cost advantages for cancer care delivered in the community setting. Practices will also receive messages that oncologists can deliver to their legislators about keeping community practices viable and giving patients a choice in their care. In the first wave of messages, dozens of legislators received letters from the community oncology practices.
Now Lilly Oncology, part of Eli Lilly and Company, has joined Community Counts as a sponsor in communicating the campaign’s message to all healthcare stakeholders.
“Community oncology serves as a valuable site of care to the entire health system,” noted Newt Crenshaw, vice president, Lilly Oncology. “Eli Lilly and Company believes in the value of this program, and has partnered with ION Solutions to sponsor the outreach portion of this campaign.”
“Eli Lilly and Company helped sponsor this campaign through Lilly’s Patient Access to Cancer Care Excellence (PACE) initiative,” said Crenshaw. “PACE’s goal is to collaborate with key stakeholders to encourage public policies and healthcare decisions that speed the development of new medicines, assure cancer treatments respond to the need and qualities of individual patients and improve patient access to the most effective cancer medicines.”
“We want to be able to provide the right treatment to the right patient at the right time,” Crenshaw continued. “As each patient engages their fight with a unique set of circumstances we are compelled to preserve choice in site of care for them. Lilly is pleased to work alongside ION Solutions in this effort.”
For more information, visit www.OurCommunityCounts.org.
About ION Solutions
Community-based oncologists rely on ION Solutions, a business of AmerisourceBergen specialty Group, for the resources, expertise and technologies they need to improve clinical and operational management. Pharmaceutical manufacturers partner with ION Solutions for launching new products and driving growth with existing products. Managed care companies work with ION Solutions to develop innovative programs that can reduce overall costs and variability of care among community oncology practices. For more information on ION Solutions, visit www.IonOnline.com.