It was a significant year for Verdi Oncology. We opened for business in the spring of 2018 for the expressed purpose of providing value-based, patient-centric oncology care to new markets. We approach this strategy in one of two ways:
Partnering with established oncology practices that share our vision
Opening oncology practices in new markets
Specializing in the management of the financial and operational aspects of running a practice, we enable physicians to focus on what matters most: providing excellent patient care. By integrating physician expertise, patient needs, medical science, and advanced care models, we can bring oncology practices to markets that are in need of better care.
Partnership with Horizon Oncology in Lafayette, IN
In March 2018, Verdi Oncology and Horizon Oncology forged a significant partnership. Horizon Oncology is a premier practice located in Lafayette, IN. The clinic is led by Dr. Wael Harb, who after 20 years of practicing in that market, has established himself as an authority in oncological care.
Dr. Harb holds faculty positions at both Indiana University and Purdue University. He also serves as Chairman of Community Cancer Network, a nonprofit organization that helps cancer patients, and as the Coordinator for the Lafayette Medical Education Foundation. Additionally, Dr. Harb is the Director of Clinical Research for Verdi Oncology. We were delighted to make this partnership come together.
Since the partnership, Horizon Oncology has grown considerably in their market. They have experienced an increase in total patients seen by over 10% year-over-year, and have increased clinical trials substantially. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to grow our clinical trials business while serving additional patients. We have been particularly happy with the progress we’ve made in clinical excellence. Our efforts with the MACRA/MIPS Program have gone a long way in improving the quality of care we can offer our patients.
Verdi Cancer & Research Center in Warren, MI
In November 2018, we opened the Verdi Cancer & Research Center in Warren, MI. The clinic is run by a terrific physician named Dr. Tarik Hadid – and overseen from a medical perspective by Dr. Harb. We opened the clinic on November 1st and began seeing patients on November 4th. We recently got approval from Medicare and that will allow us to begin onsite chemotherapy treatment in January 2019.
Dr. Hadid was previously affiliated with the Ascension hospital network. We have maintained crucial support from that affiliation. We value our ties with Ascension and look forward to nurturing that symbiotic relationship moving forward. From a medical perspective, our Oncology Care Model (OCM) relies on working with hospitals to provide better care for our patients.
Value-Based Care: What To Expect in 2019
Value-based care is a central part of who we are and who we want to be. Our main objective for 2019 is to continue forming new partnerships and opening new offices. We’re particularly interested in partnerships with groups that have proven success in their OCM – which is a huge step forward for Medicare and value-based care.
We feel that our timing is terrific. The market has been working against us for 10 years, but now the pendulum is starting to swing the other way. Verdi Oncology is out in front of the change. Two notable changes that we are well positioned to capitalize on are:
Substantial changes in the 340B drug purchasing program leveled the playing field between participants and physician practices
Changes in the Site-of-Service Fee Differential are going in place January 1, 2019
These two forces are working in concert to make hospitals rethink their need to have employed physicians in medical oncology. Based on the success of our new clinic in Warren, MI, we feel strongly that we can provide solutions to hospitals that are interested in making adjustments to their infrastructure.
New Oncology Practices in 2019
We remain active in aggressively pursuing growth with first-rate physicians and practices, as well as opening practices where we see opportunities for growth in value-based care and clinical trials. These are complementary offerings that we specialize in at Verdi Oncology. We differ from other physician management companies in that we look at partnering with practices, not just as a way to get more transactions, but rather as an opportunity to amass a wealth of capabilities and resources that we can offer in our efforts to provide excellent patient care.
Because of this, the physicians and practices we partner with must have proven success in the Oncology Care Model. We’re interested in markets where we can make a difference. One of the benefits of partnering with Verdi Oncology is, unlike the employed model used by hospitals, we offer physicians the ability to be in charge of their own practices. Our commercial arrangement gives them the support they need to focus on providing their patients with excellent care.
Hospitals will continue to provide critical elements to the overall oncology care of our patients. These include surgical care, radiation oncology, lab, and all inpatient requirements. Hospitals do a great job offering these services and are a key element in providing comprehensive oncological care to our patients.
Growing Our Team
We have been very active in building out the team here at Verdi Oncology in an effort to support our partners in growth. Our current team is six people and counting. We’ve got capabilities in project management, revenue cycle management, financial management, and development. All of which are important for our partner practices. Not just for financial growth, but also for clinical excellence.
The Future of Verdi Oncology
With 2018 coming to an end, it’s clear that Verdi Oncology is off to a great start. It has been a year of beginnings, and a year of growth. In addition to forming a key partnership with Horizon Oncology, we were able to open the Verdi Cancer & Research Center in Michigan. Moving forward, our strategy will be to continue establishing partnerships in order to build terrific local practices in new markets, where we can establish preeminent early clinical trials programs and offer patient-centric care. We’re just getting started.