Latest Updates

Learning the Business of Cancer Care at #COA2021
Register for Community Oncology’s Biggest Meeting Today

March 4, 2021

In community oncology, we’re all fighting to stay ahead of the curve on new regulations and reimbursement processes, payer changes, and consolidation. In 2021, we’re still facing COVID-19 and figuring out what to expect from a new Congress and President. With COVID-19 still around and a new crop of legislators, keeping up with the latest developments will require some heavy lifting.

On April 8-9, attendees from around the country will join together virtually for the 2021 Community Oncology Conference to share information and make the road ahead easier for all of us with practical and actionable knowledge. There is something for everyone in the practice, from physicians and nurses, to pharmacists and administrators. 

Be a part of the 2021 Community Oncology Conference. Click here to register!

It’s why I recommend bringing the whole practice to #COA2021. All facets of community oncology are represented in the sessions you’ll attend and the people you’ll meet. Regardless of your role, you will leave the Conference ready to take on the challenges back home.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the session on “How Employers Approach Cancer Care & Benefit Design” so that I can prepare our practice for future reform models or contract negotiations. I’m also excited to learn more about biosimilars and behavioral health, two areas of incredible focus in oncology. These are just the tip of the #COA2021 iceberg; check out the agenda to see all the great sessions that are planned.

There’s really something for everyone at the Community Oncology Conference. You don’t want to miss it!

Barry Russo, MBA

Barry Russo, MBA
Chief Executive Officer, The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Board Member, Community Oncology Alliance
Fort Worth, Texas

Keynote: Shining a Light on Hospital Drug Pricing & Markups

New data shows hospitals marking up drug prices an average of 250 percent. This isn’t marketing – it’s straight from the hospitals’ own reported numbers, thanks to new federal price transparency requirements that took effect January 1 this year.

On April 8 at the 2021 Community Oncology Conference, keynote speaker Aharon “Ronny” Gal, PhD, BSc, senior research analyst at Bernstein, will explain just how much hospitals markup lifesaving drugs and the impact it has on our nation’s drug prices.

Tune in to find out how much hospitals are driving U.S. drug prices, what we will learn if more hospitals come into compliance with the transparency regulations, and what implications this new data will have.

Timely Agenda

At #COA2021 we have 25+ expert sessions on the agenda planned by leaders in each sector: clinical operations, business, and pharmacy. Whatever your role, you will make important connections and gain invaluable knowledge.

World Class Speakers

World class speakers bring the issues we all need to know to life at the COA Conference. Anyone with a stake in oncology leaves with a deeper appreciation for the important work we do and insights on how to do it better.

Click here and register today for the 2021 Community Oncology Conference!

Upgrade Your Practice at the 2021 Community Oncology Conference

January 22, 2021

Meeting the Challenges of Community Oncology at the virtual #COA2021

2020 is over but its effect will persist into 2021, creating new challenges for community oncology. How will practices adapt to the influx of new and returning patients when the COVID-19 vaccine is widespread? Will the Most Favored Nation (MFN) model become reality? What new treatments and technologies are available and how do you get them to patients? Attendees of the 2021 Community Oncology Conference will have a leg up on these challenges.

Nationally recognized experts share their secrets each year at the annual COA Conference, and this year is no different. The agenda is packed with speakers ready to share their thoughts on the biggest changes coming in 2021, and you can’t afford to miss it. You can get an edge on the competition and any headwinds blowing in your direction for free and from the comfort of your home or office on April 8-9.

Take advantage of your FREE registration for the 2021 Community Oncology Conference!
Each year, I look forward to community oncology’s premier event. My team and I scour the Community Oncology Conference for new ways to improve the care we provide, streamline our work, and connect with new colleagues. In 2021, I’m most looking forward to sessions on precision medicine integration and genomic profiling so I can take that information back to my practice.
We all know it’s a volatile time to be in community oncology. We are under constant pressure to improve pharmacy operations, understand ever-changing reimbursement policies, build coalitions, and thrive financially — all while providing the best care to our patients, close to their where they live.
The good news is that we don’t have to go it alone, and the Community Oncology Alliance’s annual Community Oncology Conference is here to help. I’m excited for all of you to join us on April 8-9!

Fred Divers, MD

Fred Divers, MD
Physician, Genesis Cancer Center
Board Member, Community Oncology Alliance
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Break Out of Your Routine at #COA2021

January 6, 2021

Hear New Ideas at the Community Oncology Event of the Year!
Join me at the 2021 Community Oncology Conference

Every community oncology provider, myself included, can get stuck in a routine. The key to providing quality, affordable cancer care is breaking out of that routine, and that’s exactly why I look forward to attending the 2021 Community Oncology Conference.

This year’s Conference is packed with a diverse set of experts ready to broaden your horizons. Topics on the agenda are as varied as new gastrointestinal cancer therapies, the latest PBM and insurer tactics, employer perspectives on cancer care, and genetic testing. As a health care professional, all this and more will cost you…nothing. How often can you say you attended community oncology’s premier conference for free?

Register TODAY for the 2021 Community Oncology Conference!

Nothing is more important than the safety of our practices and providers, so the 2021 Conference is once again 100% virtual. This has the added bonus of making it easier than ever for you AND your colleagues to attend. Whether you’re at work or home, you can access the 2021 Community Oncology Conference quickly and easily.

If you’re a practice professional, employer, employer health group, payer, or business coalition, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and register for free. The best part of my job is watching practices thrive using the information they get from the Conference. So, let’s maximize the number of you who are watching!

I look forward to seeing you in attendance on April 8-9!

Debra Patt, MD, PhD, MBA
Executive Vice President, Texas Oncology
Secretary, Community Oncology Alliance
Austin, Texas

Tis the season to be merry!

December 21, 2020

2021 is almost here, so close out 2020 and share the gift of knowledge! Before you leave to celebrate the holidays, give yourself and your coworkers the gift of registration for the Virtual Community Oncology Conference.

The best part about this gift? For most, it’s completely free!

If you are a health care professional, employer, employer health group, business coalition, or payer, you can take part in the 2021 Virtual Community Oncology Conference for free on April 8-9, 2021 for free. How can you pass this up?

Unwrap your 2021 Virtual Community Oncology Conference registration!

The COA Conference is the only meeting where you get an all-encompassing look at where community oncology is and where it’s going. From clinical to business issues, to pharmaceutical to legislative updates, you won’t find a more comprehensive oncology meeting.

Don’t believe us that the Conference is that good? Check out the agenda and see for yourself.

Register for COA’s 2021 Community Oncology Conference and join us on April 8-9 for community oncology’s premier annual event!

The 2021 Community Oncology Conference:
Community Oncology


Challenged like never before to continue treating patients during a public health emergency, community oncology practices demonstrated that they are resilient, resourceful, and innovative. Cancer hasn’t stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic, and community oncology practices haven’t either, continuing to provide world-class cancer care to patients in need across the United States.

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) 2021 Community Oncology Conference will showcase the resilience, resourcefulness, and innovativeness of community oncology, and share the critical lessons practice teams have implemented to continue operations against all odds. The Conference will also share strategies for independent oncology practices to succeed in uncertain times as the U.S. cancer care landscape continues to rapidly change.

Presentations and panels featuring the nation’s top practice leaders and key stakeholders will cover every facet of community oncology, including the latest cutting-edge clinical topics; successful business operations; managing pharmacy and dispensing challenges; and preparing yourself for new value-based care and oncology payment reform models.

To ensure a safe experience for all, the 2021 Community Oncology Conference will once again be virtual, featuring a world-class, interactive platform. Whether you’re at work or home, you can access the 2021 Community Oncology Conference quickly and easily.

Held over two packed days, the Conference will provide something for everyone, including oncologists/hematologists, clinical staff, practice administrators and business teams, employers and employer health groups, insurers, and industry. Join us to experience the best two-day meeting in oncology.

Community oncology is Resilient.

Community oncology practices have always been resilient in the face of new challenges, especially since the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 ushered in a new reimbursement system that has had a profound impact on the cancer care landscape. The 2020 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report documented that over the last 12 years, 1,748 community oncology clinics and/or practices have closed, been acquired by hospitals, undergone corporate mergers, or reported that they are struggling financially. However, 2020 brought a new, unforeseen challenge to community oncology practices in the form of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) forced community oncology practices to be resilient like never before in keeping their facilities, providers, and staff COVID-19 free so they could continue to treat cancer patients. And resilient they were, as hospitals were overrun with patients with COVID-19 and community oncology practices stepped up and stayed available to treat Americans with cancer. It has been a clinical, operational, emotional, and financial challenge, but community oncology demonstrated unprecedented resilience in the face of overwhelming pressures; and COA has been there every step of the way to help practices navigate against incredible odds to showcase the true value of independent community oncology.

Community oncology is Resourceful.

More so than ever before, the COVID-19 public health emergency forced community oncology practices to rethink and reengineer how they practice medicine. This wasn’t a mere matter of finding adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) early on in the pandemic and keeping patients socially distant, it required a complete overhaul of clinical and business operations. Community oncology practices demonstrated their ability to be resourceful when challenged, reengineering how they see and treat patients, from implementing safe staffing practices to the quick adoption of telemedicine and “virtual visits.”

Resourceful” is also the driving spirit as COA stepped up help patients who faced closed hospital cancer centers, transportation fears, and financial barriers, get the care they need during the pandemic. Cancer doesn’t stop and community oncology is amazingly resourceful, pulling out all the stops so that patients can continue to be screened, treated, and cared for during this terrible pandemic.

Community oncology is Innovative.

Community oncology practices and professionals have not only showcased its innovative spirit and mindset in dealing with the pandemic, but also in how community oncology has been committed to transforming the future of oncology and our health care system. From payment reform, to value-based care and contracting, to quality improvement, community oncology has always led the way. As innovators always focused on the future, community oncology knows that the way Americans pay for and receive cancer care is changing rapidly. According to COA’s 2020 Payment Reform Brief, there are currently at least 35 distinct oncology payment reform models planned or underway in 37 states across the U.S. This is a huge increase from the only 19 oncology payment reform models COA identified in 2019.

Whatever the acronym – Oncology Care Model (OCM), Oncology Medical Home (OMH), Oncology Care First (OCF), and so many more – community oncology has long invested significant time and resources to create a successful, innovative cancer care system that puts patients first while lowering costs and providing superior quality care. This innovation and a focus on the future is at the core of everything that community oncology stands for today.