Pursuing a career in medicine is commonly described as a calling, and more often than not the path to a very demanding yet fulfilling journey begins with a personal experience. For John D. Sprandio, M.D., inspiration first struck during his teen years, when he witnessed firsthand his father’s battle with acute leukemia. Even as a boy going through an extremely trying ordeal, he can remember being moved by the commitment of his dad’s healthcare team. Their dedication left a lasting impression on him, a future oncologist.
“I was close to my father, and I spent a lot of time with him during his nine months of illness,” Dr. Sprandio says. “My aunt was a nurse at the time, and she really coordinated his care. I saw how his physicians responded not only to him but to our family. Obviously, that had an impact on me, and it initially drew my interest to oncology. What I did not realize until later is that level of care driven by my aunt was not the norm—but I knew it should be.”
More than 30 years later, Dr. Sprandio is fortunate to be just as enthusiastic about helping patients today as when he first entered the field. The founder and president of Consultants in Medical Oncology and Hematology (CMOH)—an independent, community-based practice with 10 providers and locations in Broomall and Glen Mills—he has devoted his professional life to furthering the way oncologic services are delivered.
“My goal throughout all my years of practice has been to improve and standardize our level of service, in the way that I was first inspired to during my father's care: efficiently and empathetically, in every aspect."
To that end, Dr. Sprandio and the CMOH team have been pioneers nationally with their development of the Oncology Patient-Centered Medical Home. Initially conceived in 2005 as a method for reducing physician burnout, the approach to care gave valuable time back to the doctors through a more efficient collection of data and detailed documentation of patients’ symptoms and the solutions to treat those symptoms.
A byproduct of this physician-centric approach has been better and more consistent care for the patients. The holistic, personalized model streamlines treatment and brings the current health status of the patient front and center for each visit.
“There are a lot of buzzwords in oncology today, like personalized medicine, and to some healthcare providers that means checking your molecular studies and seeing if there’s a targeted therapy,” Dr. Sprandio says.
“The science behind personalizing individual care from a drug perspective is critically important, and our sites obviously include that. But the way that we engage patients, the way that we collect patient outcomes and symptoms, and the way that we present those to our physicians and nurse practitioners at the time of the visit forms the basis for our extremely personal approach.”
The Oncology Patient-Centered Medical Home allows CMOH to prevent comorbid conditions from complicating and interrupting therapy. It also helps patients manage their symptoms, resulting in fewer emergency room visits and hospital admissions for patients.
The success of this model has not gone unnoticed; in 2010, CMOH became the first oncology practice to be recognized as a Level III patient-centered medical home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The model has since influenced Medicare’s Oncology Care Model (OCM), a project engaging 180 practices across the country to reduce the exorbitant cost of cancer care while simultaneously increasing the quality of care.
Another groundbreaking aspect of CMOH’s approach is its focus on shortening “the timeline of uncertainty” before a cancer diagnosis is made. Traditionally, weeks and several doctors’ visits may pass between the time of a suspicious imaging study and an official diagnosis, which causes anxiety for patients and their families, and delays treatment. CMOH has adopted an “early handoff” policy, encouraging primary care doctors to refer patients with obvious or likely oncologic problems right away.
“We’re better versed at giving the patient an explanation, a prediction, and a plan,” Dr. Sprandio says.
“We’re fully equipped to collaborate with the primary care doctor in getting patients to the surgeon of their choice, the specialist of their choice, and communicating with those folks to move this along and arrive at a diagnosis. We also take responsibility from Day One for symptom palliation so they’re not bouncing back and forth from the ER. When you shorten the timeline to diagnosis, obviously you shorten the timeline to initiation of treatment, and you shorten the misery of uncertainty that all of our patients face.”
CMOH also has strong relationships with National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated centers in Philadelphia and other world-class providers in the region; it not only encourages second opinions, but also facilitates them. Patients may benefit from a clinical trial at those centers, but CMOH also has clinical trials available through The US Oncology Network, and more often than not people appreciate the personalized approach of Dr. Sprandio and his team.
The family atmosphere at CMOH has been bolstered by the addition of two of Dr. Sprandio’s sons: John David Sprandio Jr., M.D., a medical oncologist, and Brian Sprandio, M.D., a palliative care specialist. Dr. Sprandio is proud to have both on board, calling them “outstanding physicians and a great benefit to our practice.”
Not that he is quite ready to hand over the reins to the next generation, he assures. The way CMOH thrives on innovation and continuous improvement has only strengthened his commitment to medicine.
“After 33 years, I love my work more than I ever have,” he says. “I am not burned out; none of our physicians are. With the way that we’ve transformed our practice, we’ve given time back to our physicians so they can interact and engage better with our patients. I have no plans to retire anytime soon because we all know we’re doing something different than what’s generally happening in the market, and we’re all very passionate about it. I love what I do, and I think that I’m doing it better now than I ever have.”
For more information on Consultants in Medical Oncology and Hematology, which has locations in Broomall and Glen Mills, call (610) 492-5900
Photograph by Jody Robinson
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, October 2021.
Breast Health Champions
Dr. Laura Austin and Dr. Nabila Chowdhury were featured as Breast Health Champions in Philadelphia Magazine's Think Pink 2021. You can read their full interview here: Think Pink 2021: Champions Austin/Chowdhury - Philadelphia Magazine (phillymag.com)
The Sprandio Family of Physicians
The Sprandio Family of Physicians in Southeastern Pennsylvania Spent the Year Supporting their Local Cancer Community While Also Providing Research and Treatment to COVID Patients
Dr. John Sprandio Sr, founder and president of CMOH, along with his sons Dr. John Sprandio Jr. and Dr. Brian Sprandio, were all named as Main Line Today Top Doctors for 2020.
[Broomall, March 31, 2021] – Consultants in Medical Oncology and Hematology (CMOH), an independent oncology practice and a member of The US Oncology Network, is proud to recognize a family of doctors who have delivered for their community during one of the most challenging years in healthcare. As coronavirus cases began to rise, the Sprandios dedicated themselves to researching, treating, and supporting COVID-19 patients while also providing unparalleled clinical expertise and care for cancer patients, exemplifying their compassion and commitment.
Dr. John Sprandio Sr. is the founder and president of CMOH. He set out to create an oncology practice where his patients are at the center, getting unparalleled access to personal and attentive care with all the support they and their families deserve. He implemented a groundbreaking care model that simultaneously increases the quality of cancer care while lowering the cost for patients in southeastern Pennsylvania. In pursuing this vision, Dr. Sprandio successfully created the nation’s first Oncology Patient-Centered Medical Home.
“Over the past 10 years we have dedicated our efforts to driving consistency of care by enhancing the level of service and services to meet our patient’s needs. The way we execute care results in standardized treatment, greater efficiencies, healthier patients, lower overall costs, and consistently high patient satisfaction. When the pandemic hit, I am proud to say that all the work we had implemented prior really helped prepare us for this moment. I am also honored to have built an independent practice where I can practice medicine alongside two of my sons.”
Dr. John Sprandio Jr. joined CMOH as a medical oncologist in 2014. As the eldest son, he cites his father’s work and the relationships he built with patients as an inspiration. With his father as his mentor, Dr. Sprandio Jr. pursued oncology and hematology. Also inspired by his father and brother, Dr. Brian Sprandio is a palliative care specialist working in the community. All three men provide coordinated and compassionate care to both cancer and COVID-19 patients.
“My dad and John have both been dealing with the hematological affects the coronavirus has on individuals,” said Kate Ells, daughter of Dr. John Sprandio Sr., “and they have worked diligently to apply their medical home model principles to COVID-19 patients, such as promoting the standardization of steroid and anticoagulation therapy in both inpatients and outpatients early on in the pandemic. Brian works directly with COVID patients and their families. He is seeing firsthand the struggle and heartache associated with both a cancer diagnosis and the pandemic but thankfully they have been able to coordinate care in a way that uniquely meets patient and family needs during this difficult time. I am so very proud of the work they have done and continue to do.”
Outside of work, John Jr. and Brian often get together with their three other siblings and are busy with activities centered around John Sr.’s and his wife’s 13 grandchildren, demonstrating that their practice does not just feel like a home, it is home.
We are pleased to recognize these outstanding physicians and honor the impact they are having on our community. To schedule an appointment with Dr. John Sprandio Sr. or Dr. John Sprandio Jr., visit CMOH.org or call 610-492-5900.
In 2020, the American Society of Clinical Oncology highlights John Sprandio Sr., MD efforts in executing an innovative care delivery model to improve the management of symptoms in patients with cancer. Click the link to read the full article: From Theory to Practice: Implementation of Strategies to Reduce Acute Care Visits in Patients with Cancer
Tandigm Health, a population health services organization, today announced the expansion of its value-based care model to Consultants in Medical Oncology and Hematology and four other physician led specialist groups in the Philadelphia region. Click the link to read the full article: Tandigm Health Expands Value-Based Model Beyond Primary Care with the Addition of Leading Specialty Groups
To implement its value-based models of care on a broader scale, Consultants in Medical Oncology and Hematology of Philadelphia has decided to join The US Oncology Network. Click the link to read the full article: Value Pioneer Looks to Scale Up His Innovations in Care
In November, Aetna announced they will be collaborating with us in our efforts to make changes. Click the link below to read the full article:
Aetna Announces Program with the First Patient-Centered Medical Home for Oncology.
Dr. John Sprandio, chief of CMOH, was featured in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer's health section: Delco Oncologist Makes the most of Efficient Care.
Cancer Center Business Summit, Transitioning to Value Based Oncology, Strategies to Survive and Thrive: Fort Worth, Texas, October 11, 2012
Recently, John Sprandio and Susan Tofani presented the OPCMH model to the Cancer Center Business Summit.
Other Key Presentations and Meetings