A longstanding private hematology and oncology practice that shares a campus with the Tri-Cities Cancer Center is joining the Kadlec system as part of Kadlec Clinic.
As of Dec. 1, Columbia Basin Hematology & Oncology will become Kadlec Clinic Hematology and Oncology. It will remain in its current home next to the cancer center in Kennewick, and the staff of more than 60 physicians, nurse practitioners and other employees will stay on.
Columbia Basin Hematology & Oncology opened in the 1990s, providing medical oncology care to patients in the region.
It’s the largest practice of its kind in the Tri-Cities, seeing about 1,500 new patients a year.
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Dr. Thomas Rado, managing partner, said the move will be good for the practice and its patients.
“To the extent we have been able to provide care in a very humane, compassionate setting up until now — I really believe Kadlec is committed to continuing and even improving that,” he said, adding that the new arrangement will allow for even greater coordination of care.
Rand Wortman, Kadlec CEO, said the idea has been discussed for some time. In about the last year, “we decided it was time to put it together,” he said.
He noted that with “health care reform and all the things that are transitioning in health care, many physician practices are choosing to align with larger health care systems.” Kadlec itself has taken such a step, affiliating with Providence Health & Services, a large health network that operates in five states.
Rado echoed that the timing is right. “As we look out at the picture of health care, I think that this is a time when a strong system is more likely to be able to survive, serve the patients and maintain levels of care that are really excellent and nationally recognized,” he said. “I don’t think we could continue indefinitely as a freestanding group.”
Under the arrangement, Columbia Basin Hematology & Oncology’s staff will become Kadlec employees. Kadlec will take on the clinic’s lease and buy the hard assets, such as office equipment. Wortman declined to disclose financial details of the arrangement.
The practice’s clinical trial and research efforts will continue.
Rado has been moving away from patient care in the last year but still heads up the practice’s research division and acts as a liaison to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He said he’ll continue in those rolls with the transition.
Wortman said Kadlec is looking forward to welcoming the practice’s skilled team.
Kadlec doesn’t currently have hematology and oncology services embedded in its clinic system, and “We’re excited about them coming in.”
“Oncology is one of the services that is going to continue to grow into the future across the country” as the population ages and cancer cases rise, he said. The addition of the practice “really enhances Kadlec Clinic.”