Billings Clinic Cancer Center Mission: To provide leading-edge care for patients and their families.
Billings Clinic Cancer Center Vision: To be nationally recognized for premier cancer care and the first choice for patients, their families, and referring providers.
Billings Clinic Cancer Center Core Values:
- Optimism: We believe in creating an environment of optimism and offering a welcoming atmosphere for our patents and their families.
- Compassion and Respect: We show care for our patients and for each other and have a passion for the work that we do.
- Multidisciplinary Collaboration: We believe the best care for patients I delivered by drawing on the expertise of professionals across many disciplines.
- Integrity: We have an expectation of active professionalism in interactions among team members and in the care we provide.
- Responsiveness: Because patient needs are our priority, we remain flexible in order to accommodate timely access to care.
Billings Clinic Cancer Center: Billings, Montana
Outreach/Telemedicine Locations: 12 locations throughout Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota
Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest health care organization and serves a vast region covering much of Montana, northern Wyoming, and the western Dakotas. Billings Clinic is a physician-led, integrated multi-specialty group practice with a 304-bed hospital and level II trauma center.
Billings Clinic Cancer Center utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach and patients are supported by a team of physicians with specialty trained oncology nurses, patient care navigators, social workers, dieticians, physical therapists, a genetic counselor, a naturopathic physician, and pharmacists.
- Medical Oncology/Hematology: 5 physicians, 2 nurse practitioners (2 additional physicians starting August and September 2018)
- Gynecologic Oncology: 3 physicians, 2 physician assistants (1 additional physician starting Fall 2019)
- Radiation Oncology: 3 physicians
- American Association of Blood Banks accreditation for Cellular Therapies
- American College of Radiology – Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) Accreditation
- American College of Radiology – Radiation Oncology Program Accreditation (ROPA)
- Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation
- Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT)
- Magnet Designation – Nursing’s Highest Honor
- Mayo Clinic Care Network
- National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancers (NAPBC) accreditation
- Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) certification
Pharmacy Services Staff
Billings Clinic oral oncology cancer services started in September 2016 with a retail dispensing model. We subsequently developed an integrated specialty pharmacy in July 2017 to better support our patient’s needs. Billings Clinic Specialty Pharmacy is a part of the Excelera Specialty Pharmacy network and utilizes a therapy management system, Asembia1®, to assist in the care of our patients. We are currently in the process of obtaining URAC Accreditation.
Billings Clinic specialty pharmacy staff has grown to include the following:
- 4 operational pharmacists
- 3 decentralized clinical pharmacy specialists embedded in Billings Clinic specialty clinics
- 1 in oncology
- 1 in neurology/rheumatology
- 1 in pediatric specialty
- 11 pharmacy technicians
- Most technicians work in operations with 2 focused specifically on oncology
- 2 clinic liaison technicians embedded in clinic department and assist with medically integrated dispensing
- Reviewing addition of a clinic liaison technician in medical oncology this year
The Billings Clinic oral oncology specialty pharmacist is integrated into medical oncology, hematology, and gynecologic oncology clinics to provide medication reviews, education, laboratory monitoring, symptom management, and adherence support. This pharmacist has a collaborative practice agreement with providers to provide these services at no cost to the patient. The additional specialty pharmacy staff members play an integral role in the management of oncology patients. They complete medication prior authorizations, obtain financial assistance (grants, funds, co-pay assistance, medication assistance programs), and assist with medication education, adherence, laboratory monitoring, and follow-up as necessary. Patients have the option to pick up their medication, mailed at no cost, or receive in clinic via medically integrated dispensing.
Medically integrated dispensing, integrated specialty pharmacy
- Medical oncology
- Gynecologic oncology
- Radiation oncology
- Infusion pharmacy
- Bone marrow biopsy
- Stem cell transplant
- Diagnostic imaging
- Nutrition counseling
- Genetic counseling
- Clinical trials
- Social work
- Physical therapy
- Naturopathic medicine
- Palliative care and supportive care
- Nurse navigators
- Oncology certified nurses
Why did you join NCODA?
We have seen first-hand the benefits from patients receiving their medication at the point of care. This benefit is shown by improvement of adherence, overall medication understanding, and avoidance of waste. NCODA provides support for dispensing cancer clinics by providing educational materials, guidance on negotiating with payers, open lines of communication with oncology practices around the country, and much more.
How did you become a member?
Billings Clinic became a member of NCODA after being connected with Mike Reff from NCODA in March 2017. Discussions with Mike, as well as collaboration with St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, made it evident that joining NCODA would be a beneficial partnership for Billings Clinic that would ultimately improve patient care.
How did you hear about us?
We learned about NCODA from our inpatient oncology pharmacist, Anna Howard, who was involved with NCODA during her PGY2 oncology residency.
How can NCODA help you?
NCODA can help us by continuing their support and guidance in ensuring patients have a choice in where they receive their medication, negotiating with payers, and being a resource for reliable information.
How would you like to be more involved with NCODA?
Billings Clinic would like to continue their involvement through work on the Oral Chemo Education Committee and assist with developing Positive Quality Initiatives (PQIs). We also see the benefit of incorporating our pharmacy technicians into NCODA and would like to become more involved with the Technician Committee.
What are some challenges you face now or will face in the future?
One of the largest challenges in the future of oncology may just be the culture change in treatment modalities. As oncology treatment shifts towards occurring more frequently in the outpatient setting, specifically with oral cancer treatments, this will require an adjustment in patient and provider expectations, affordability in oral oncology, and understanding of the importance of medically integrated dispensing.