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Cancer. 2012 Apr 15;118(8 Suppl):2325-30. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27473.

Cost considerations regarding the prospective surveillance model for breast cancer survivors.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


For this article, the authors examined the cost implications of the prospective surveillance model (PSM) for breast cancer (BC) survivors, a comprehensive framework designed to preemptively reduce the incidence and virulence of common impairments. The model clearly has the potential of providing significant benefits. However, its accompanying costs and resource requirements remain unclear and may be substantial. Thus, it is critical to examine which BC survivors may benefit from the PSM, how much they will benefit, and the costs of this benefit before its implementation. Because the PSM is not rigidly prescriptive, its examination must allow for different scenarios with emphasis on 4 critical determinants of cost--whether all or only high-risk BC survivors participate, assessment frequencies and locations, the credentials of the assessors, and requirements for supportive equipment. Another issue is the distribution of its cost: hypothetical implementation strategies vary widely in their distribution of fiscal burden across key stakeholders--survivors, providers, and payers--whose financial responsibilities will be an important factor in whether and how rapidly they adopt the PSM. Accurate valuation of the PSM will require capture of direct and indirect cost savings and benefits. Currently, a lack of data regarding these parameters, as well as outcomes that can be reliably attributed to the PSM, impedes cost-effectiveness analyses. Because the PSM may enhance many health state characteristics, assessments that integrate overall composite measures with evaluations of common, discrete impairments may be required to comprehensively assess its benefits.

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