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Med Care. 2002 Aug;40(8 Suppl):IV-104-17.

Estimating health care costs related to cancer treatment from SEER-Medicare data.

Author information

1
Health Services and Economics Branch, Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7344, USA. mb53o@nih.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cancer-specific medical care costs are used by health service researchers, medical decision analysts, and health care policymakers. The SEER-Medicare database is a unique data resource that makes it possible to derive incidence- and prevalence-based estimates of cancer-related medical care costs by site and stage of disease, by treatment approach, and for age and gender strata for individuals older than 65 years.

OBJECTIVES:

This paper describes the cost-related data available in the SEER-Medicare database, and discusses techniques and methods that have been used to derive various cost estimates from these data. The limitations of SEER-Medicare data as a source of cost estimates are also discussed.

RESULTS:

Examples of cost estimates for colorectal and breast cancer derived from SEER-Medicare are presented, including estimates of incidence-based cost (average cost per patient) by the initial, terminal, and continuing care phases of cancer treatment. Estimates of cancer-related treatment costs, costs by type of treatment, and long-term costs are presented, as are prevalence-based costs (aggregate Medicare and national expenditures) by cancer type.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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