Specialty Groups — Oncology                

January/February, 2003

Welcome to the American College of Oncology Administrator’s web-page.

Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2003.  This issue of the Journal of Oncology Management focuses on “New Technology, New Treatments, State of the Art” For many of us, this New Year is accompanied by resolutions and changes.  In 2002, we saw adjustments to our personal and business lifestyles, primarily as a result of events in late 2001, a stalled economy, and continued drastic cuts in healthcare reimbursement.

While we will have to wait another year to see what 2003 brings us, some forecast that it might be similar to 2002.  What is clear is that cancer care technological developments in 2003 will not be a repeat of 2002.  There will be new and exciting introductions (equipment, pharmaceuticals, and new biologics) in all areas of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The volume and pace of these new technologies and capabilities, coupled with the deteriorating state and national reimbursement environments raises a number of critical questions for cancer program, physician practice, and hospital leaders:

• Will we be able to continue to afford these new technologies and capabilities (both the capital and operating costs)? • Do we have an adequate mechanism within our program or practice to establish priorities for acquisition among the new technological advances? • Which vendors provide value added relationships? • Do these new technologies or equipment contribute to enhancing our operating and contribution margins?

• What impact will this technology or capability have on the delivery of care and our cancer program or oncology practice?

Change in general is inevitable.  Change in healthcare technology is predictable, yet troublesome in our current reimbursement environment.  The challenge to cancer program managers and oncology practice administrators is how we approach changes in technology and capabilities, and how we manage the change process.  Embracing a criteria based process that encourages open, yet decisive discussions around priorities is essential to our ability to remain financially viable.

The primary role of the board is to serve the College’s membership.  I encourage you to become involved in the college this year and to share your thoughts and ideas about college activities and direction, the Journal, and the program for the annual conference with me, your board members, or our journal editor.

Best regards for a healthy and prosperous New Year,

Joseph M. Spallina, FAAMA, FACHE President American College of Oncology Administrators

[email protected]