DUARTE, Calif--An oncologist passionate about the advantages of managed care? Oncology News International met just such a physician, Myron H. Goldsmith, who provides medical oncology services on a capitated basis to the City of Hope Oncology Network, while also maintaining his fee-for-service practice. "You have to be passionate about what you believe in," this on-the-go doctor said from his cellular phone.
The City of Hope Oncology Network is part of a growing movement by cancer centers and oncologists to take the managed care bull by the horns and get the system to work for patients, providers and payers.
"By the year 2000, 20% of all health-care spending in this country is going to be oncology related . . . outstripping cardiology and orthopedics," Dr. Goldsmith said. "I would rather that physicians get involved in controlling cost in a manner that makes sense rather than having it dictated to us how it is going to be done."
Cancer patients linked to the City of Hope network will generally not have to leave their local community to receive top quality cancer treatment. "Instead of the patient going to the tertiary center for their surgery, for example, a significant proportion will now be done in the community," Dr. Goldsmith said.
Other unique benefits for patients in the City of Hope network include second opinions as a covered benefit, access to state-of-the-art treatment options, educational services, and cancer screening provided through mobile vans. "We are absolutely community-based driven," he commented.
The network offers benefits to third-party payers as well, Dr. Goldsmith believes, including outcomes research, practice guidelines, quality assurance, and patient satisfaction surveys. "We want to be partners with the payers and meet their needs. Outcomes research, for example, allows payers to show that they are providing quality care."