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Big-name partnership in cancer care formed northwest of Atlanta

4/19/2019, Georgia Health News

WellStar Health System announced a partnership Friday with Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers (NGOC) to enhance community-based cancer care in the northwest Atlanta suburbs.

The Marietta-based oncology group’s main service is providing chemotherapy infusion to cancer patients. The locations that will serve WellStar patients in this partnership will be in Marietta, Austell, Douglasville, Hiram, Cartersville and Jasper.


Dr. Bruce Gould, president of NGOC, said Friday that through this ‘’professional services agreement,’’ WellStar will supply billing and collections services, purchasing of expensive cancer drugs, and help in facilities management, as well as employ the oncology group’s staff.

“This partnership aligns with our core belief that strong and trusting partnerships yield healthy outcomes,” said Candice Saunders, WellStar CEO, in a statement.

Patients will benefit from better coordination of care, Gould said. “One reason for doing this deal is that it brings together the strengths of two very good organizations,’’ he said. WellStar, he said, has expertise in surgical and radiation oncology.

The goal is to deliver state-of-the-art care to cancer patients, Gould added.

WellStar, a Marietta-based nonprofit health system, has 11 hospitals in Georgia.

“WellStar and NGOC offer an advanced multidisciplinary approach known as the STAT clinical model,” Dr. Michael Andrews, chief cancer officer for WellStar, said in a statement. “Through this model, patients with new cancer diagnoses are seen by multiple physicians at one time. This facilitates better communication among the physicians and patients, which leads to significant reductions in time to treatment, improved patient satisfaction and most important, enhanced survival rates.”

Chris Kane, a consultant for Progressive Healthcare, said prominence in the field of cancer care is a strategic marketing priority for most health systems.

“The prevalence of cancer drives demand for many clinical services, including surgery, imaging, radiation and chemotherapy,’’ Kane said. “This partnership with a well-regarded physician group enhances WellStar’s market position and access points.’’

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