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Formation of Combined Urology and Radiation Oncology Practices

Objective Data From Radiation Oncologists for Rationale

Schilling, Paul J., MD

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: June 2011 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 289-291
doi: 10.1097/COC.0b013e3181e1cac4
Original Articles: Genitourinary

Objectives: We sought to determine motivating factors for radiation oncologists to form joint ventures with urologists to provide intensity modulated radiation treatment (IMRT) to prostate cancer patients that the urologists diagnose.

Methods: The American College of Radiation Oncology developed a survey and requested responses from radiation oncologists who had professional relationships with urologists to deliver prostate cancer intensity modulated radiation treatment in a combined practice. Daily patient treatment totals and practice characteristics were queried. To date, there is no actual data to elucidate the motivation of radiation oncologists to form such an association.

Results: All 75 respondents indicated that their practice model was a multispecialty group, in which the radiation oncologist has an employment agreement to receive the professional component for radiation treatment services, and was also a financial partner in the technical component. All respondents were economically displaced in a geographic region by existing radiation oncology groups, hospital-based radiation oncology practice, or both. All radiation oncologist respondents stated that they were unable to achieve professional partnership status within a radiation oncology group, and 98.6% were unable to obtain a share of the technical component for radiation treatment. Eighty-six percent of respondents treated patients with nonprostate malignancies in their facility, at a rate of 1.9 times more nonprostate patients than prostate patients.

Conclusion: This data may indicate that radiation oncologists combine with urologists in a geographic area where the radiation oncologist has been economically displaced, has existing referral patterns, and continues to treat other patients with nonprostate malignancies.

From the Community Cancer Center of North Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Supported by the American College of Radiation Oncology.

Reprints: Paul Joseph Schilling, MD, 7000 NW 11th Place Gainesville, FL 32605. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.