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Nobel Peace Prize Winner Stephen Schneider Keynotes Annual Conference of Community Oncologists
Date:2/5/2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Stephen H. Schneider, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University, a climatologist and cancer survivor who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore, will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Community Oncology Conference Feb. 5-7 at the FireSky Hotel in Scottsdale. The conference attracts health care professionals from community settings, where 84% percent of the cancer care in this country is provided, ranging from private practice-based oncologists, hematologists, oncology nurses, and pharmacists to practice administrators.

"The future of the country's cancer care delivery system is in jeopardy," explained Patrick Cobb, M.D., president of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and managing partner of Hematology-Oncology Centers of the Northern Rockies in Billings, Montana. "Community oncology practices, which treat most Americans with cancer, are facing tough decisions to cut staff, services, and facilities, due to major problems associated with Medicare drug and services reimbursement. At this week's annual COA Conference, cancer healthcare professionals from around the nation will address and discuss how we can avert this crisis."

The Crisis in Cancer Care

Since the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, reimbursement for cancer care by Medicare, which covers approximately 45% of Americans with cancer, has been cut dramatically. With diminishing service payments, numerous community clinics have no choice but to close their doors. Loss of these community treatment options leads to treatment of more patients in the general hospital setting, especially under-insured or uninsured patients, which can drive up costs and result in inefficiently coordinated, substandard treatment and increased likelihood of medical errors.

Solutions to Be Stu
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SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance
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