Community Oncology Alliance (COA) Briefing Discusses Impact of COVID-19 on Community Oncology
February 16, 2021 — Lucio Gordan, MD, President and Managing Physician of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), and FCS Assistant Managing Physician Michael Diaz, MD are featured speakers at a virtual national briefing that will detail the devastating effects the COVID-19 crisis has had on cancer screenings, diagnosis and treatment. The invitation-only briefing for community oncology leaders across the U.S. is being hosted by the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) on Feb. 17, 2021 to present the latest data from a national study conducted in October 2020 for COA by Avalere Health.
Gordan, Diaz and other colleagues were part of the study’s research team of oncologists who reported that patients have postponed or skipped recommended cancer screenings due to the pandemic and were now being diagnosed with later stage cancers. Delayed detection of cancer can require more complex treatment and often results in higher morbidity and mortality rates, along with increased cost of care. At the briefing, Gordan will participate in a panel discussion on the latest data from the COA/Avalere study and why research and tracking screenings remain a key focus. COA is leading a national education campaign on the importance of getting regular cancer screenings.
“Community oncologists and their team members have shown incredible resilience and resolve in dealing with this severe crisis by adopting telehealth very quickly, reorganizing workflows, enhancing safety processes at their clinics, and migrating staff to work from home,” Dr. Gordan said. “Unfortunately, we are still continuing to see a drop in the number of people getting recommended screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, prostate and lung cancer screening, among others. Not only does this decline pose risks for patients, but it also provokes concerns about the increased burden on the healthcare system in general and related costs.”
Dr. Diaz will participate in a panel discussion on the topic of how the new Biden Administration is expected to impact cancer care, in general, and community oncology, in particular. “Of course, the impact of COVID-19 will be the ongoing top priority for some time,” said Dr. Diaz. “However, given President Biden’s close personal connection to cancer, people are expecting the new administration will increase support for cancer research and improving care. Cancer groups are also looking for the new administration to take on several priorities in cancer care, such as access to care, rising healthcare costs and disparities within the system.”
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Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. Over the past 5 years, the majority of new cancer drugs approved for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials with Florida Cancer Specialists participation.* Trained in such prestigious medical schools and research institutes as Duke, Stanford, Harvard, Emory, MD Anderson, and Memorial Sloan Kettering, our physicians are consistently ranked nationally as Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report.
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