Q&A with Henry Ford Cancer Institute's Dr. Steven N. Kalkanis and Spencer C. Hoover

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | September 04, 2017
From the September 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: It looks unlikely at the moment, but if the ACA was repealed or effectively allowed to fail, what impact, if any, would it have on HFCI and would it impact the new pavilion?
SK: There are aspects of the ACA that are beneficial and some that are problematic. I think both sides would agree that there’s room for improvement.
SH: Prior to the ACA coming out, there were different mechanisms for support [of] uninsured and underinsured patient populations and the hospitals where those patients sought care. For Henry Ford Health System, and given our significant presence in Detroit, we are challenged to manage different levels in the care for patients of all types. We’ve sought to develop a framework of operational and financial evaluation that allows the cancer institute and all future system service lines/institutes to be nimble enough to react to changing market and federal reimbursement regulatory conditions.
For us, the evolution of health care payment reform is part of a broader horizon of change in health care we have to deal with.

HCB News: What sets the new center apart from others?
SH: The patient experience will be elevated. In addition to all the highly specialized services being co-located in one convenient location for patients, we are seeking to take advantage of advancement in modern technology. There will be Bluetooth-enabled wayfinding, concierges will be waiting upon a patient’s arrival, scheduling will be simplified and communication back to the patient and their caregivers will be enhanced in clinically appropriate ways. Additionally, educational videos will be provided at key points in time for support and reinforcement that the treatment journey they are on is based upon internationally derived, best-in-class standards of care. With this, patients can walk in and breathe a sigh of relief that HFCI staff and volunteers are there to make their experience seamless and with an aim on reducing stress so patients can focus on healing and fighting their battle with cancer.

HCB News: Can you give us any details on what a successful first few years of the new cancer pavilion would be?
SK: We’ve built into the design of the building the capability to build vertically another three stories. If we have done our job as an institute correctly, spreading the word across the country that our cancer care offering is a preeminent enterprise, then even before we open the doors in early 2020, we will have invested in building the additional three floors or 75,000 square feet. One of our objectives will have [been] accomplished before the ribbon is cut. This will prove we are making a huge impact on cancer care for cancer patients of Michigan and the U.S.

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