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Promise and Progress - Cost-Cutting and Excellent Care Not Mutuallly Exclusive
Issue No. 1
Cost-Cutting and Excellent Care Not Mutuallly Exclusive
Date: July 16, 2014
Lancet Oncology, February 2014
Cost-cutting strategies in end-of-life care, medical imaging, and drug pricing could significantly reduce healthcare expenses without harming patients, a study by Kimmel Cancer Center experts finds.
Thomas Smith, M.D., the Harry J. Duffey Family Professor in Palliative Care, and Ronan Kelly, M.D., recommend hospice care rather than hospitalization for end-of-life care. Hospice care improves symptoms, is associated with equal or better survival, helps caregivers, and costs less, Dr. Smith says. Yet, they report, just 50 percent of cancer patients used hospice in their last month of life. About 25 percent of Medicare costs are spent in the last month of life, so Drs. Smith and Kelly recommend more substantive and earlier discussions between patients and physicians related to chemotherapy and other hospital-based care at the end of life. The researchers also found that expensive imaging is often used to monitor for cancer recurrence or progression when it could be detected through other examinations.
A cost-benefit analysis of cancer drugs also was recommended.
Articles in this Issue
- Headline Makers - Overview
- A Safer Way to Treat Pediatric Brain Cancers
- For Cervical Lesions, Tissue Exam Beats Conventional Blood Tests
- Blood Cells Transformed to Repair Damaged Retina
- Personalized Chemotherapy
- 3D Scans Show whether Treatment is Working
- Alcohol Metabolite Could Increase Cancer Risk in Some People
- Acupuncture, Real or Simulated, Eases Hot Flashes
- New Leukemia Findings
- HPV Oral Cancers and Risk of Infection for Couples
- Molecular Marker of Cancer Drug Response
- Chronic Inflammation Connected to Prostate Cancer
- Fat Versus Brain Cancer
- DNA Damaging Toxins In Food
- Cancer Patients Who Quit Smoking Live Longer
- New Immune Therapy Shows Promise Against Melanoma
- Breathe Easier and Fight Cancer
- Cost-Cutting and Excellent Care Not Mutuallly Exclusive
- The Key to Safe Bone Marrow Transplants Revealed
- Gene-Based Blood Tests Detect Advanced and Early Cancers