Fight for oncology market heats up in the Midwest

HCA Midwest Health System in Kansas City, Mo., is working to increase its regional market share in oncology by ramping up its 10-site Midwest Cancer Care network, reports the Kansas City Business Journal. HCA Midwest will invest up to $5 million in 2010 for staff and equipment at most of its Cancer Care facilities, says Simon Abrahms, vice president of business development. In addition, the area's largest healthcare network anticipates spending similar amounts on the one-year-old Cancer Care initiative for two or three more years.

By this fall, HCA Midwest expects to hire the network's first vice president of oncology services to lead the Cancer Care effort. The network should be able to leverage its rural presence to help grown the Cancer Care business, says Abrahms.

An impetus behind the push: HCA Midwest's cancer-oriented business has grown by up to 13 percent a year over the past three years. Abrahms wouldn't release data on Cancer Care revenues, however, "it's growing, and it's profitable," he says.

Other area cancer care providers are also in growth mode. The Kansas City Cancer Center (KCCC), which is part of Houston-based US Oncology Inc., gained more than 12,300 new patients in 2009. The practice opened its eighth location last summer and plans to open its ninth office in April. KCCC's approach is to provide user-friendly, freestanding cancer care locations that are more attractive to patients than hospital-based care, says Dr. Mark Myron, president of the practice.

To learn more about the oncology strategies in this region:
- read the Kansas City Business Journal article