Royal Philips Electronics is teaming up with Integrated Oncology Network (ION), a development, practice management and advisory firm committed to patient care and quality in oncology. The move aims to expand Philips' services to address broader issues in cancer service management.
Officials say the partnership will build on Philips' existing capabilities in advanced imaging, treatment planning, image-guided interventional therapy, home monitoring and IT solutions for oncology.
"Philips is constantly pursuing new ways to meet evolving needs in oncology across the continuum of care – from early detection and diagnosis to treatment and surveillance, and from hospital to home," said Pat Venters, general manager, Oncology Care Cycle, for Philips Healthcare. "Part of that involves staying ahead of the curve in terms of the clinical solutions that we offer, but another critical part is helping to better manage the business and operational aspects of cancer treatment."
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He adds that, "through this new partnership, we are demonstrating our commitment to seeing the bigger picture in cancer care. By helping our customers create efficient, centralized, multidisciplinary cancer services, we can help cancer patients focus on their treatment and life with – and hopefully beyond – cancer."
According to the American Cancer Society's "Global Cancer Facts & Figures," there are 12 million new cancer cases each year – 33,000 per day. While patients and clinicians depend on technology innovation to help deliver better outcomes, declining reimbursement and increasing accountability are forcing cancer administrators to examine every aspect of care for efficiencies and cost effectiveness.
Additionally, with greater numbers of patients living with – and ultimately winning – the battle against the disease, the operational side of cancer care is more important than ever. The ION partnership will aid cancer care administrators with operational solutions that support clinical practice and improve patient care, with the aim of reducing costs across the entire healthcare system.
Philips' oncology portfolio includes computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and mammography, all of which may help to detect a lesion at its most curable stage. Additionally, positron emission tomography (PET) coupled with CT is a state-of-the-art imaging solution that supports clinicians in the diagnosis and staging of disease. The portfolio also includes products for acute care and patient monitoring, design services for healing environments, innovations in home health, and IT solutions that facilitate greater collaboration across all points of care.
[See also: GE launches multi-pronged $1B cancer initiative.]
According to the Commission on Cancer Accreditation, the move toward integrated, multidisciplinary cancer centers is one of the most notable trends in cancer care today. These cancer centers often include a variety of oncology specialists as well as multiple imaging and treatment modalities. ION is an oncology development, management and advisory firm that provides services to physician groups and hospitals. With the ION team's leadership experience developing and operating more than 40 radiation oncology centers, officials say ION offers expertise in group practice structuring and management, reimbursement analysis, payer contracting, compliance and other essential aspects of cancer center management.
ION also mitigates the challenges of funding cancer centers by providing a minority equity investment in their projects. With this partnership in place, Philips and ION will offer coordinated expertise in creating cancer centers from the ground up or revamping and enhancing existing oncology programs.
"Together with Philips' leadership and innovation in cancer diagnosis and treatment planning, this alliance will allow us to offer solutions that address the fundamental business and operational needs of 21st-century cancer centers," said Jeffrey Goffman, ION's chairman and CEO. "By giving clinicians and hospitals the support they need to align the business, financial and management aspects of cancer care, they can get back to what matters most – quality patient care."