Message from the CEO

We are proud to announce a significant milestone for our membership. In early 2015, one of the nation’s largest Prescription Benefit Managers (PBMs) announced a restriction on access to its network for physicians who dispensed oral medications to their patients. We collectively knew that this was not in the best interests of patient care. Nearly 100 UroGPO member practices have put in the hard work to bring medications to their patients in an environment and with staff that patients know and prefer. In collaboration with you, UroGPO partnered with Community Oncology Alliance to correct the situation for better patient access and care.

On July 1, 2017, CVS Caremark began allowing dispensing physicians to apply to once again be in its network. Since then, nearly 40 UroGPO members have submitted applications and provided credentialing material, policies and procedures, and have patiently waited. We are happy to announce that The Conrad Pearson Clinic, in Memphis, Tennessee, was recently approved for access to the CVS/Caremark network. We’ll be hearing more positive news like this over the course of the year. I want to recognize the hard work that our dispensing team has done on behalf of our membership. John Lengauer, Bob Traffis and Shannon Owens have shown tenacity, expertise and dedication toward this project in an effort to allow your patients to choose to obtain their prescriptions from their physician.

No company or challenge is too big when you do the right thing.

David J Coury, CEO

SaveSave

Network news

Clinical hot topics * Powered by 

GU cancers:

FDA grants priority review to Janssen for apalutamide as a treatment for non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

With a priority review, the FDA will make a decision about the approvability of apalutamide on about April 10, 2018, six months from the acceptance of the new drug application. Additionally, an oral presentation at the upcoming Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in early February will provide a full report on the results of the SPARTAN trial. Last year, Janssen announced positive results from the SPARTAN trial.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-fda-grants-priority-review-to-janssen-for-apalutamide-as-a-treatment-for-non-metastatic-castration-resistant-prostate-cancer-300574400.html 

OLYMPUS trial is open for enrollment for patients with low-grade upper tract urothelial carcinoma for treatment with MitoGel,™ a gel formulation of mitomycin for ureteral instillation.

http://www.urogen.com/olympus-study/?gclid=CjwKCAiA7JfSBRBrEiwA1DWSG5fHbguYNfX8c7aEDU556P5yaxC3n_aunmH1hw48pJ40w3VEkfzu0RoCr-kQAvD_BwE

Urology

FDA Grants De Novo request for PROCEPT BioRobotics AQUABEAM® System

PROCEPT BioRobotics AQUABEAM® System’s Aquablation® technology offers heat-free robotic alternative for the minimally invasive treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171221005923/en/FDA-Grants-De-Novo-Request-PROCEPT-BioRobotics

Member profile

The UroGPO team is always impressed to see how ‘small’ practices step up to offer comprehensive care not only for general urologic conditions, but also for advanced diseases. For our member profile this week, we spoke with Dr. Tim Richardson, with Wichita Urology.

The secret sauce to Wichita Urology’s success can be summarized in one word, COMMUNICATION. The team is committed to meeting regularly to openly discuss current and future initiatives.

“Seeing our team live is key,” Dr. Richardson says. “We may end up sitting in a room together until 9 at night, but it has allowed us reach success beyond our size.”

He says it is critical to meet regularly.

“Once a year or once a quarter is not enough,” he says. “We meet two to three times a month for three hours on Monday nights. All topics, from hiring, adding service lines, referrals, bonuses, or even the efficiency of the front desk or the purchase of a new CT scanner are talked about. We discuss, vote, and within two weeks, the initiative is happening. We talk, decide and do.”

This has allowed Wichita Urology to adapt and succeed.

Dr. Richardson and the Wichita team are passionate about their Kansas outreach clinics. They take time from their schedules to travel to and care for patients in more than a dozen underserved geographies. Each physician has locations that are a drive or a flight away. Dr. Richardson says this has been meaningful to patient care, but also from a practice networking perspective.

“Sure, those two to three days a month, you could avoid the travel, but you offer good care to patients who don’t have access to local urology,” he says. “And the other days of the month, those local physicians are referring patients to you when their condition requires care in one of our central facilities. We are a group of nine, but with our outreach, we serve a patient population of 1 million.”

Accessing remote areas of Kansas can be an adventure, however, especially via small aircraft. Dr. Richardson noted a particular trip during which the airplane door opened mid-flight, and the pilot turned around, landed, re-latched the door and resumed the flight.

Another noteworthy initiative at Wichita Urology is the  recent hire of a Pharmacy Tech to run their In-Office Dispensary (IOD).  Twila Purity, CEO,  notes that they’ve realized numerous benefits to having a dedicated headcount.  They have been able to fill scripts that they had been unable to fill before, as well as gain interest from more patients to fill Rx’s in office.  They note that this will continue to be even more relevant as further oral agents move into the Urology space for Renal, M0 CRPC and other disease states.

Dr. Richardson sits on UroGPO’s APC Medical Advisory Group and he shared how he became interested in advanced prostate cancer care.

“I’ve been trained in robotics and have enjoyed surgeries for GU cancers,” he says. “In 2014, when these new therapies allowed urology to offer further cancer care for patients, our group was very interested. This was a big deal for our patients. UroGPO held their 2015 spring meeting in Dallas; I was the last person to step backward, and my practice voted me to go. That meeting gave me the stimulus for our group to integrate these new services lines. It offered better care for our patients and more potential for practice success. From there on out, I became the practice liaison to UroGPO and LUGPA, and have been bringing insights back to the group from each meeting I attend.”

We thank Dr. Richardson for sharing his insights into Wichita Urology’s success. Knowing more about your urology colleagues across the county will allow you to network, communicate and bring best practices home to your groups.

Wichita Urology mission statement: “To provide the best urologic care to the people of Kansas by blending modern medicine with time-honored values of compassion, empathy and respect.”

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Did you know?

Did you know that Julius Caesar was the first to set Jan. 1 as the new year? Caesar did so when he established the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, decreed that the new year would occur on Jan. 1. Caesar wanted the year to begin in January because it celebrated the beginning of the civil year and the festival of the god of gates and, eventually, the god of all beginnings, Janus, after whom January was named.

Message from the CEO

Happy New Year from the UroGPO team! At the end of each year, it seems to have passed by quickly. But when you reflect on the accomplishments and progress over the past 12 months, it really is quite incredible. What will 2018 bring? On the personal side, this is definitely the year we are all going to exercise more and eat better. But what about your practice’s resolutions for 2018? Is this the year you take on a new service line? Build a program for a new disease state? Invest in a navigator? Establish your data capabilities? It’ll be great to look back 12 months from now and see how you have taken your practices to the next level. UroGPO will continue to deliver the resources, programming and network connections that will help you achieve these resolutions. It is worth highlighting the types of APC Champs programs for 2018. The series is back, with 50 target programs for the year.

  • 1.0 APC Champs programs are designed specifically for Clinical Champions and practice staff within new APC programs. 1.0 program content is foundational to a successful APC program and consists of an interactive agenda with clinical data delivered by mCPRC Key Opinion Leaders and an operationally focused session between UroGPO and the member practice.
  • 2.0 APC Champs programs capture what was learned in the 1.0 version of the program, take inventory of what has been accomplished and what obstacles still exist and identify practice-specific strategies to achieve even higher levels of patient care and operational efficiency.
  • 3.0 APC Champs programs develop the sophisticated APC practice into a GU Cancer Center of Excellence, including a comprehensive cancer care team to prepare for the changing GU cancer landscape, as well as the success metrics and processes that will pave the way to practice success within the new health care landscape.

This programming is based on your feedback, and we look forward to customizing our programs based on your needs. Thanks for a great 2017, and here’s to an even better 2018.

David Coury, CEO

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave