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US Oncology Applauds Senator Baucus's Healthcare Reform 'Call to Action' for 2009, Supports Collaborative Measures to Enhance Cancer Patients' Access to Care While Improving Quality and Access

Senate Finance Committee Chairman's White Paper Outlines Plans to Improve Healthcare Coverage While Launching New Initiatives to Improve Care Quality and Value

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- US Oncology, which supports one of the nation's largest cancer treatment and research networks representing approximately 1,200 oncologists nationwide, commended Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus's (D-MT) "Call to Action: Health Reform 2009," a 104-page blueprint for enhancing healthcare coverage for Americans. US Oncology supports Chairman Baucus's goals to address critical system issues such as improving care quality and value; refocusing on preventive care and wellness; and, creating more sustainable financing methods that will benefit patients, healthcare providers and taxpayers.

"As a dedicated member of the cancer care delivery community, we applaud Senator Baucus's early and aggressive steps in developing a comprehensive reform plan for 2009 and look forward to playing a constructive role in his efforts," said Roy Beveridge, MD, Chairman of the US Oncology Public Policy Steering Committee. "As the plan notes, a key issue facing our nation is our need to strengthen funding and access for Americans' healthcare services. Nowhere is this need greater than covering the costs of care for patients living with cancer. On behalf of US Oncology's caregivers and patients, we look forward to working closely with Sen. Baucus, his colleagues in Congress and the Obama Administration on comprehensive healthcare reform while protecting the integrity of our cancer care delivery system and improving access and delivery of quality cancer care."

A major component of the Baucus plan is to increase focus on prevention and wellness through a greater emphasis on primary care, chronic care management and the use of electronic medical records. US Oncology has already begun to revolutionize cancer care treatment through the use of health information technology linked to cancer care quality measurement. With its extensive health information technology and clinical information and comparative data analysis system, known as iKnowMed, US Oncology looks forward to working with all healthcare system stakeholders in order to share best practices and reach new levels of collaboration in ensuring consistent, high-quality patient care.

"Through the widespread uptake of our oncology-specific clinical information system, US Oncology has made major strides in bringing together our more than 1,200 network physicians and improving the quality of care that our network's patients receive in our cancer centers each day," said Dr. Beveridge. "We hope to work closely with Senator Baucus and his fellow lawmakers and staff to apply this same spirit of collaboration and commitment to excellence in improving comprehensive healthcare delivery in 2009."

About US Oncology, Inc.

Headquartered in Houston, US Oncology works closely with physicians, manufacturers and payers to enhance patient access to advanced cancer care in the community setting. US Oncology supports the nation's foremost cancer treatment and research network in its efforts to accelerate the availability and use of scientific, evidence-based medicine.

According to the company's last quarterly earnings report, US Oncology is affiliated with more than 1,200 physicians operating in approximately 485 locations, including 92 cancer centers and radiation facilities in 39 states. For more information, visit the company's Web site,

SOURCE US Oncology
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