by Nancy Ryerson
, Staff Writer | September 26, 2013
From the September 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
What are your thoughts on the ProCure center that ran into financial trouble? How can centers avoid that kind of problem? [When one of the ProCure Treatment Centers Inc. locations missed a $3.6 million interest payment, partner Cadence Health bought out the company.]
I think they’re coming from a different place, and we’re coming from a different place. It’s unfortunate what happened. You know, it’s nice to have a proton center, but you have to have the right personnel in the proton center to run it. You also need patients to make it financially sustainable, so if you build a center with a regional hospital or a physician’s group as your core, you don’t have 500,000 lives under management that you can evaluate to send the right people to protons. With the major medical academic institutions comes a different level of expertise I believe, and also a much more robust patient base. If you have a group of treating radiation oncologists who are investors and operators of a center, they’re not referring patients there, they’re treating patients that are being referred there, and if you don’t have the referrals that’s difficult.
What are your predictions for the future of proton therapy?
Our four clinical partners that we have meet now at least twice a year. We all meet together — the physicians, the physicists and the administrative people — for a couple days twice a year. And the exchange of information is not only for medicine and for treatment, but also for center management and things of that nature. That sharing of information is something that we’re hoping to see all of the centers start doing, and see a big growth in how to more effectively use protons.
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