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Evolution in

2 OF A SERIES PART

Oncology Practice Management

New Jersey Hematology and Oncology Center Partners with OncoMed Bayonne, New Jersey—As ications. If they followed the source the pharmacy funcspecialty pharmacies that demand for their services traditional practice of hema- tion to a pharmacy that was concentrate on more than grew and it became increastology and oncology pro- highly specialized in oncoloone class of pharmaceuticals ingly clear that their pracviders, they would “buy and gy medications. This pharis the OncoMed care mantice was becoming a regionbill” the medications, mean- macy would prepare the agement support team’s abilal center for patients battling ing they would have the drugs under the highest clinity to work with insurers to cancer, the medical staff at responsibility of sourcing and ical standards, deliver them get the authorizations that Colanta Hematology & purchasing the medications, just in time for treatment the Colanta Hematology & Oncology Center made the storing them, preparing and day (thereby eliminating Oncology Center’s patients decision to build and open sometimes compounding them waste), handle all the hassles need. OncoMed’s team inan outpatient infusion cen- Kevin Askari, RPh for patients, managing the of insurance prior authoriza- Burt Zweigenhaft cludes patient care navigater that could adequately President and Chief inventory on an ongoing basis, tion and reimbursement, CEO, OncoMed tors and patient reimburseand comfortably serve their Clinical Pharmacist and dealing with a bevy of and free the center from the ment specialists who have OncoMed patients. insurance prior authorization challenges of safely storing and dispens- extensive experience working with inThe result was a state-ofand reimbursement procedures ing the drugs and the huge, capital- surers, oncology drug manufacturers, and the-art infusion center with 20 recliners and requirements in order to get paid. intensive “carry costs” that maintaining medical foundations. These specialists in a patient-focused environment that is Although buy and bill traditionally such an inventory requires. always know where to go to search for open to serve patients 7 days a week. The had its benefits, including a substantial Dr Colanta and his colleagues needed funding for patients who are medical staff of three physicians and four margin paid by Medicare and other com- researched their options and chose banking on that expertise for their nurses, led by practice administrator recovery. Romel Colanta, MD, now delivers a OncoMed has become a pivotal part“The partnership with OncoMed has enabled broad array of outpatient oncology servicner to the Colanta Hematology & Onus to make better use of our capital.” es, including chemotherapy, albumin, cology Center by owning the pharmaantiemetic, and iron therapy infusions. ceutical worry and letting the physicians Additionally, the infusion center staff —Romel Colanta, MD focus solely on guiding their patients to provides supportive cancer care services, Practice Administrator remission. including therapeutic phlebotomy, antiWe sat down with Dr Colanta and Colanta Hematology & Oncology Center biotic infusion, and electrolyte replaceasked him about the new center and its ment. They also provide multidisciplipartnership with OncoMed. nary infusion services for patients referred to the center by gastroenteroloWhy did your infusion center choose gists, neurologists, and infectious disease mercial payers, changes that resulted OncoMed—The Oncology Pharmacy. to partner with OncoMed? specialists. from the Medicare Modernization Act OncoMed is an oncology pharmacy, The buy-and-bill model that oncoloWith the high volume of oncology lowered a margin that sometimes paid meaning that its sole business is oncolo- gists have always worked under is no drugs required to treat their patient physicians 40% over the cost of the drug gy medications. Its specially trained and longer viable. Physicians can’t make an panel, the medical staff at Colanta had to to just 6%. certified oncology pharmacists work in a office run on a 6% margin. Under buy make the decision as to how they would The Colanta team decided there was a technologically advanced pharmacy built and bill, the average sales price (ASP) + supply their patients with oncology med- better way. They knew they could out- exclusively for oncology pharmaceutical 6% methodology can very quickly go to prescription processing and dispensing, ASP + 4%, +2%, or -2% if we run into including a USP <797>-compliant class any obstacles in getting reimbursed. And 5 clean room. To protect the supply with expensive drugs like chemotherapy, chain and ensure a complete and full we cannot take that risk. Plus, OncoMed drug pedigree, all inventories are pur- helps patients get funding for medication chased directly from pharmaceutical even after the patient’s insurer has manufacturers. The company’s “just-in- denied coverage. time treatment-day” service means that oncologists and hematologists in any In addition to this new center, you state in the nation are guaranteed deliv- now have two additional sites in New ery of medications and all therapy- Jersey. How has the partnership with specific administration supplies within OncoMed enabled you to successfully 24 hours of placing the order. Given the launch and grow the center? Colanta Hematology & Oncology When we opened, 90% of what we Center’s close proximity to one of infused in the clinic was oncolytics. As we OncoMed’s regional oncology pharmacy have grown, we infuse a far broader array sites, they were eligible to get same day of medications. The backbone of our pracand even emergency stat dose delivery tice is still chemotherapy, but we have increased our nononcolytic infusions. For The outpatient infusion center at Colanta Hematology & Oncology Center comfortably serves when needed. But what also set OncoMed apart from patients. Continued on page 13

Profile for The Oncology Pharmacist

June 2010, Vol 3, No 4  

The Oncology Pharmacist

June 2010, Vol 3, No 4  

The Oncology Pharmacist

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