CRMC looks to fill void of cancer care in Cortland County

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the hematology and oncology office in Homer could not accept Medicare and Medicaid insurance.

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Officials at Cortland Regional Medical Center say they are confident they will able to serve the needs of potentially hundreds of new patients seeking cancer treatment in the Cortland area.

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Regional Medical Practice, an affiliate of Cortland Regional Medical Center that provides cancer care services, announced last week that it will be moving its offices to a space at 1095 Commons Avenue.

The hospital’s oncology and hematology team will begin to see patients in the new space starting next week.

Julie Niederhofer, cancer nurse navigator with CRMC, says infusion and chemotherapy services will still be provided by the hospital.

The treatment rooms at the new Commons Avenue location will be located in the same building as the Cancer Care Community Resource Room, Niederhofer said.

The resource room will serve as a place for cancer patients and their family members to meet to talk about their diagnosis and treatment.

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The Cancer Care Community Resource Room, located at 1095 Commons Avenue (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

CRMC officials say they are confident they will be able to handle the influx of new patients brought about by the closure of a nearby cancer care center.

In August, officials with Upstate Medical University announced the pending closure of its hematology and oncology satellite office in the village of Homer, citing high building renovation costs and thin physician resources.

The office will close its doors on Friday.

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A satellite office of Upstate Medical University, located in Homer, will close on Friday (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

Niederhofer says CRMC offers the same services that were provided at the Homer office.

“Every single thing that was offered there, we’ll be able to do and more,” Niederhofer said.

Niederhofer said because the Homer office was a satellite office, they couldn’t accept Medicare and Medicaid, often forcing patients to get infusions in Syracuse.

“At our hospital we can do anything,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what insurance you have.”

Before Dr. Margaret Boufal joined CRMC as the hospital’s primary oncology and hematology physician in 2014, the hospital often referred patients to the Homer office, Niederhofer said.

Since the announcement of the office’s closure, the hospital has received at least 100 new patients seeking cancer care, according to Niederhofer.

She says the hospital is actively recruiting another oncologist to join its cancer care team.

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