Ochsner Health and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have partnered to boost cancer care throughout Louisiana.
Ochsner, a 46-hospital system based in New Orleans, joins seven other health systems that have adopted Houston-based MD Anderson’s oncology standards and treatment plans. In the first phase of the clinical affiliation, MD Anderson will certify seven hospitals and cancer centers, giving the facilities access to clinical trials and MD Anderson’s network of specialists. The organizations did not offer an implementation timeline for the first or additional phases.
“We can bring unbelievable new cancer treatments to communities, along with the strength of our brand and expertise,” said MD Anderson President Dr. Peter Pisters, adding that these partnerships boost enrollment and diversity among clinical trial participants and expedite the clinical trial process. “Ochsner already has deep experience in clinical research.”
Ochsner and MD Anderson have been working together informally since 2019 to bolster Ochsner’s infrastructure and treatment plans, Pisters said.
MD Anderson’s health system partnerships essentially involve creating centers of excellence. MD Anderson extends its brand into different cities, while its health system partners benefit from its specialists, care models and name recognition. In addition to clinical trial expansion, MD Anderson generally helps its partners identify and bridge various care gaps, such as how oncology drugs are processed, compounded and delivered; quality control of radiation therapy; and linear accelerators’ configuration, Pisters said. Health system affiliates often attract independent medical practices in the same or adjacent communities, as well as MD Anderson clinicians and staff looking to relocate, he said.
Ultimately, MD Anderson aims to help improve patient outcomes at its partner systems so they match the quality of its Houston-based facilities, Pisters said.
MD Anderson’s other health system partners are Phoenix-based Banner Health; Camden, New Jersey-based Cooper University Health Care; Jacksonville, Florida-based Baptist Health; Indianapolis-based Community Health Network; UT Health San Antonio and San Diego-based Scripps Health.
Cancer centers have continued to grow their networks through partnerships and acquisitions. City of Hope acquired Cancer Treatment Centers of America in February 2022, expanding the Los Angeles-based organization to Arizona, Illinois and Georgia. New York City-based Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has also formed clinical affiliations with health systems since 2013.