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Q&A with Leonard Arzt: Founder and past executive director of the National Association for Proton Therapy

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | March 06, 2015
From the March 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCBN: What do you think the NAPT of tomorrow needs to do to be successful?
It needs to continue to be proactive with the public and certainly, in a leadership capacity for the entire proton community. Continue being a strong voice of the proton community. To come up with more scientific evidence in the kinds of clinical trials to support their case with the critics and the public, and particularly, to answer questions insurance providers are asking in order to deliver reimbursement. Advocacy is the operative word.

HCBN: In the 25 years of heading the organization, is there a challenging moment that stands out?
I would say the last couple of years were the most challenging as proton therapy became more controversial — for the first 20 years, it was everything we hoped it to be. There were a lot of questions from the media about the advantages and what it could do to make a difference in patient lives. The last four or five years it’s been challenging, as insurance providers questioned its cost-to-benefit, whether it’s any better than IMRT. At the same time, patients can’t say enough great things about their quality of life outcomes.

HCBN: You’re serving in a consulting role for the next two years, what are your plans for the future?
I’m going to continue as long as they’ll have me. I’m also doing some consulting work and helping VOA architectural and design firm. I’m a part of their team as a senior advisor in the work they do in planning and designing proton therapy centers and educating their clients.

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