Northwell Health acquires Queens Medical Associates

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | January 28, 2020
Business Affairs
Northwell Health acquires Queens Medical Associates
The Northwell Health Cancer Institute plans to provide outpatient cancer services to residents of Queens through its acquisition of Queens Medical Associates (QMA).

The purchase will enable Northwell to translate and conduct clinical trials in multiple languages in the New York City borough, which is an underserved area in oncology and one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the nation. The deal provides it with not just additional staff from QMA who specialize in oncology, hematology, and palliative care, but who together speak more than 30 languages and dialects.

“There are more spoken languages in Queens than anywhere in the U.S.,” Dr. Richard Barakat, chief and director of cancer for the Northwell Health Cancer Institute, told HCB News. “Trials are commonly in English and/or Spanish. We look at this group as a way of bringing cancer clinical trials to very diverse populations. One of the things we want to do is start translating clinical trials in one of the most commonly languages spoken within their group. It may be Bengali, Russian, Hindi or Cantonese.”

Catering to 10,000 patients annually with various cancers and blood disorders, QMA specializes in oncology, hematology, supportive oncology and palliative care, and organizes its staff into language-based groups that include English, Spanish, Chinese languages, Korean, Russian, Hindi and Bengali, among others.

Comprising the practice are full-time pharmacists, registered nurses, physician assistants, medical assistants, nurse navigators, infusion nurse technicians, laboratory technicians, research staff and financial counselors. Among the services offered are targeted therapies; immunotherapy; infusion services for non-cancer conditions such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and organ transplants; clinical trials; and support services that include a supportive oncology program, nurse navigation, social work, care coordination and support groups.

The main, 18,000-square-foot facility of QMA is located in Fresh Meadows, and is home to an onsite infusion center, oral medication dispensing unit and laboratory. It also has additional locations in Astoria, Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Rego Park and Woodside, and is one of only five New York City participants in the Oncology Care Model, a pilot program designed to provide highly-coordinated care to Medicare patients.

In return, the deal will provide QMA patients with access to additional hospitals, treatments and leading cancer specialists of all types at Northwell, which diagnoses and treats 16,000 patients annually, and more New Yorkers than any other provider in the state. It consists of 4,000 physicians who are members of the medical group, Physician Partners, and offers emergency department, inpatient oncology, and radiology imaging services, as well as surgical specialists.

Barakat says the addition of QMA will allow Northwell to not only extend access to clinical trials, but build and establish a cancer center that will be situated in the Forest Hills area of Queens.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to deliver cutting edge clinical trials to a very diverse, heterogenous group of patients,” he said. “That’s going to allow for a lot of research, because we don’t know if every drug that we use works the same in a Caucasian population, as it might in an African-American population, or in an Asian population.”

Northwell also offers care through the nearby Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital; specialized care at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park; outpatient programs at the Center for Advanced Medicine in Lake Success; and radiotherapy services at the Northwell Queens Radiation Center.

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