The Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP)
is in its eighth year of publication and has remained focused on presenting data-oriented articles highlighting issues related to the mechanisms of oncology care delivery. When the Journal
was first created—out of the turmoil of practice-changing economics and politics surrounding the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003—the Journal's
focus was on independent, private practice oncologists, e.g., “community oncologists.” The “traditional” structure of oncology practice revolves around the buy and bill chemotherapy “concession.” These monies supported a remarkable expansion in sites of oncology delivery and an array of specialized services in oncology offices that are not specifically billable/reimbursable by any carrier.
Over the intervening years, there has been a dramatic change in “community oncology.” With the shrinkage of dollars from buy and bill, practices have pursued many different strategies to provide care, to find added revenue streams, and invent new models of practice. Individual or small oncology practices are becoming rare. Practice consolidation and joining practice networks allows for professional management and access to capital. Various mechanisms to collaborate with institutions—both community hospitals and broad outreach networks by traditionally academic centers—provide market power to improve contracts and access new cutting-edge therapies. Direct employment and consumption of practice, even the development of organizations owned by payers—all provide “community oncology” care.
The editors seek manuscripts that present data to give practices insight into this new reality. The Journal
presents information that is useful wherever oncology care is provided. We are pleased that the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has also seen the value of our content, as the Journal will join roughly 5,600 other health science journals as an indexed journal in Medline.
Many thanks goes to the editorial staff, the editorial board, and most especially to our authors. Special acknowledgements to Doug Blayney, JOP's
first editor, who, early in the Journal's
development, recognized the need to seek this status, and to Terry Van Schaik, JOP/JCO
publisher, who, with ASCO publication staff, do all the real work.
Ultimately the value of the Journal
is dependent on attracting authors who trust that the Journal
will evaluate and present their hard work well and in a fashion where their work can be “seen” and commented on. NLM indexing underscores to authors that publication in the Journal of Oncology Practice
is a worthy forum for their work.