More re Values and Cost of Care
This is another contribution to my ongoing dialogue about the cost of cancer care. You will recall the news two weeks ago from a number of medical specialties, including oncology, about ways to reduce cost without reducing value. That is, each speciality was asked to suggest five common procedures that have no known or proven value or benefit. The most controversial one in cancer care is related to consideration of continuing chemotherapy for individuals with advanced disease, It is a very complicated, sensitive, and important question, and I am sure that we all have strong feeings about it. Here is a thoughtful essay from Medscape. I give you the beginning and then a link to read more:
Maximizing Value in Cancer Care
April 13, 2012 (Washington, DC) - The cost of cancer care has been a topic of discussion all week, after the publication of the April issue of Health Affairs, which focuses on value, quality, and costs in cancer care. Several of the studies were featured at a briefing held yesterday in Washington, DC.
In her opening remarks, Susan Dentzer, who is editor-in-chief of Health Affairs and who moderated the sessions, noted that a new treatment for metastatic cancer can be heralded as a major breakthrough, even though it adds only a few months of life. Such high-cost therapies for limited gains raise questions: What assumptions should be used to determine value in cancer care? And what value do patients assign to such therapies?
High Cost of Cancer Drugs
To examine these issues, one study looked oncologists' attitudes toward expensive cancer drugs, and found that they hold inconsistent views on how much benefit expensive new drugs should provide to be considered worthwhile.
But what do patients think? That's what Darius Lakdawalla, PhD, economist and director of research at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and his colleagues set out to learn in their study.