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Financial Issues

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.
As a physician with substantial income (or income potential), you will most likely be contacted by a number of individuals offering various types of financial products and services throughout your career.
Changes in our economy and healthcare system (ie, the Affordable Care Act, accountable care organizations, evolving reimbursement models) have given birth to a new member of the healthcare team: the financial advocate. Although many hospitals and large clinics have some form of patient advocates and nurse navigators, not all of these professionals are trained in the complex financial issues inherent to the care of treating a patient with cancer. Furthermore, many professionals are too thinly spread, and see too many patients to develop an expertise in advising on any single disease type.
Changes in our economy and healthcare system (ie, the Affordable Care Act, accountable care organizations, evolving reimbursement models) have given birth to a new member of the healthcare team: the financial advocate. Although many hospitals and large clinics have some form of patient advocates and nurse navigators, not all of these professionals are trained in the complex financial issues inherent to the care of treating a patient with cancer.
To maintain pace with the ongoing IT revolution, practices must find cost-effective solutions for purchasing and implementing electronic technologies. There a number of funding options available to finance investments in technology. These investments may include consulting, hardware, software, and training. It may be helpful to speak with other practices in your area to learn from their experiences.

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  • American Health and Drug Benefits
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