Second Opinion Clinic for cancer, other conditions.
Edward Hospital wants a second opinion
By Andrew L. Wang November 01, 2012
Edward Hospital & Health Services is aiming for patients who want a second opinion after a cancer diagnosis, in an effort to get an edge in the increasingly competitive market for oncology services.
The Naperville-based system's Second Opinion Clinic promises to quickly deliver patients a fresh analysis of test results and potentially a different take on treatment.
The goal is to arm patients with more information about their condition and help them make a more informed decision about their care, said Brian Davis, vice president of marketing and government relations at Edward.
Getting more patients to switch providers doesn't hurt either.
“When people come to the Edward Cancer Center (locations) in Plainfield or Naperville and they meet the physicians and see the treatment plan,” Mr. Davis said, “we're confident they'll pick Edward.”
Services explicitly marketed as second-opinion programs are still relatively rare in Illinois. Some prominent health systems around the country have them, including the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Austin.
Edward's effort comes at a time when hospitals around Chicago's suburbs are investing heavily in cancer treatment to grab a bigger share of the market.
In September, Downers Grove-based physicians practice DuPage Medical Group Ltd. received state approval for a medical office building in Lisle, about six miles east of Edward, which would feature cancer care by physicians from Rush University Medical Center.
That same month, Adventist Health System proposed a new $51 million oncology facility in Hinsdale, about 13 miles east of Hinsdale.
Hospitals are increasing their focus on cancer care in part because they face mounting competition on routine care, which typically has a low profit margin and often can be performed just as well outside of the hospital.
Cancer care is attractive because it requires specialized skills and expensive drugs, and is typically a high margin service.
Yet the expansion of cancer care may be exceeding patient demand, said David Johnson, a Chicago-based managing director for health care and higher education at BMO Capital Markets.
“There is only so much volume to go around and at some point it becomes a game of musical chairs,” he said. “Not everyone is going to succeed.”
Edward's program is a virtual clinic, organizing services already provided by the hospital. The program targets patients, many of whom are already searching online for information to help them make health decisions, hospital officials say.
Patients fill out a form on the hospital's website and within a day are contacted by an advanced practice nurse who asks questions about their previous diagnosis, arranges for transferring medical records and test results and sets up appointments with Edward's cancer specialists.
Edward's doctors then provide their interpretation of results and suggest a course of treatment.
“The Second Opinion Clinic is providing them a more efficient way to seek a second opinion,” Mr. Davis says.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services