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Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Jan-Feb;29(1):196-202. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0077.

Cancer therapy costs influence treatment: a national survey of oncologists.

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  • 1Center for the Evaluationof Value and Risk in Health, Institute for Clinical Researchand Health Policy Studies,Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. pneumann@tuftsmedicalcenter.org

Abstract

A national survey of medical oncologists indicates that rising cancer treatment costs are influencing clinical practice, even as oncologists tend not to communicate with patients about costs. The survey shows that 84 percent of oncologists say that patients' out-of-pocket spending influences treatment recommendations. Only 43 percent always or frequently discuss costs with patients. Among those surveyed, 79 percent favor more comparative effectiveness research; 80 percent support more cost-effectiveness data, although only 42 percent feel well prepared to interpret it. The results suggest that physicians support federally funded comparative effectiveness research but that they wish to retain a central role in making decisions about how and when to use expensive cancer treatments. The results also support educating physicians about cost-effectiveness and how to communicate with patients regarding cost.

PMID:
20048377
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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