由 Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | September 25, 2014
From the August 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
With the opening of the Palo Verde Cancer Center - Scottsdale on May 22,
Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, a private practice, expanded to five locations in Arizona. The grand opening received an extra boost in the news because it was also the location of the 500th Accuray TomoTherapy System. DOTmed HealthCare Business News spoke with Dr. Lauren Stegman, one of the radiation oncologists for the new center to learn about the benefits of having a full service cancer center, the challenges to get it running and what the hopes are for its future.
HCBN: What are the most innovative technologies in-house at Palo Verde?
For our radiation therapy, we have the newest TomoHDA machine — which allows us to give the most highly-focused radiation therapy from head to toe for all types of disease sites.
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We have a state-of-the-art infusion center and onsite pharmacy for all forms of chemo, and even radiopharmaceuticals. The other thing — we are the only real center in Scottsdale that has fully integrated with full service cancer care all in one office. It’s great for continuity of care, teamwork between physicians, and patient convenience.
HCBN: Are there any treatments or technologies you’re exploring for greater future use?
The main thing is in regard to Tomo-Therapy. As patients undergo therapy and the tumor changes, we can provide progressive treatment.
For radiopharmaceuticals, there’s Alpharadin (or Xofigo) for prostate cancer, the first drug of that nature that shows a survival benefit. We’re keeping up with the literature and offering state-of-the-art treatments as they become available. That’s part of the value of having a comprehensive center.
HCBN: What challenges did you face in creating the new facility and how did you overcome them?
It was a challenge in combining two organizations with different structures and long histories and different specialties to develop a comprehensive center for our patients. Working with one another to plan out a center that met all our needs and facilitated a comfortable patient experience took a lot of discussion.
We’re here to provide the best care possible for patients. We feel it’s important that people can come to one place to get care for all their needs. Cancer care is an area of growing competition, an area where there are a lot of challenges regarding reimbursement, but there are a lot of dollars being spent. In order to maintain market share, you have to be constantly improving and offering measureable benefits in your patient care. I think that we have our area of expertise, but with the medical oncologists and radiation oncologists right next door to each other, it allows us to interact continually and learn from each other.