A community oncology practice is a private physician owned business not owned by a hospital, academic or medical teaching institution. The practice may have only one oncologist on staff or may employ more than 100 oncologists. A community oncology practice can be located in a rural location or a large city. Community oncology practices may have one location or in some states such as Florida, over 90 locations. Access to the most current treatment protocols, clinical trials, and comprehensive care is available in the community oncology setting.
In a community oncology practice, the mission is clear
- Deliver up-to-date, safe, and effective cancer care in a community-based setting
- Provide value to patients and payers (insurance companies, Medicare or an individual)
- Provide excellent quality of care
The mission of patient care drives the operational details of a community oncology practice. Most community oncologists care for patients with a variety of cancers. Most also manage any side effects that come with cancer treatment and often function as the patient’s primary care physician, as an Oncology Medical Home, while the patient is in active treatment. Once active treatment has been completed, community oncologists will monitor patients in remission, often for the remainder of their lives.