This issue of the Journal of Oncology Management focuses on Leadership, Productivity, and Physician Compensation.  Many cancer programs are faced with questions about their strategic direction and long-term viability.  Successful cancer programs are directed by leaders, who craft strong physician/hospital relationships, and who direct efficient operations.

We can expect both hospital and physician reimbursement to continue to decline, without much hope of recovery.  These declines will raise the intensity of competition between cancer program physicians and hospital cancer programs.  This increased level of competition will tax cancer program strategies.  Without adequate program leaders (administrative and physician) and an infrastructure to support them, cancer programs will not be able to build strong relationships with cancer program physicians.  Cancer program strategic business plans must: 

  1. Remain current and contemporary,
  2. Define program leadership requirements (e.g.,     administrative and physician, skill set, who and how the positions are filled).
  3. Address how the program will remain financially viable in an increasingly competitive market characterized by declining reimbursement.
  4. Define strategies addressing operational efficiencies that contribute to margin management and to the ease at which physicians can practice at the hospital.

  5. Identify specific structures, implementation priorities, and metrics for physician/hospital business relationships.

In this issue of the Journal of Oncology Management, a combination topics that will provide you with tools to build and strengthen your cancer program.  Cancer program leadership must be in place to create the winning combination for hospitals and physicians to work as strategic partners in increasingly competitive environments.  If the business relationships are anything other than strong and positive, the cancer program will be destine not to survive.

Best regards,

Joseph M. Spallina, FAAMA, FACHE
American College of Oncology Administrators [email protected]