A closer look at value-based care in breast cancer.
When cancer strikes, people want the best treatment. Too often, however, patients equate cost with quality, thinking that pricier treatments offer the best chance of killing the demon, or at least holding it at bay for a few years until reinforcements (breakthrough technologies and treatments) arrive.
Value-based care isn’t on the minds of many people in such situations. That’s the challenge of incorporating such care into oncology, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center noted that in recent years there has been a marked increase in bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for early breast cancer. “While some of these procedures are clearly medically indicated, the choice for mastectomy is often driven by nonmedical factors such as patient preferences for more ‘complete’ cancer treatment by extirpating the entirety of the affected organ….”
Researchers measured complications within two years of diagnosis. Complications included infection, hematoma/seroma, breast pain, fat necrosis, radiation pneumonitis, rib fracture, graft/implant complication, implant removal, and other postoperative complications.
Cumulative net payer cost within two years of diagnosis was calculated using all inpatient and outpatient claims from within two years of diagnosis. All costs were adjusted to 2014 dollars.
Researchers gathered information about women under age 65 via the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database. MarketScan provided claims data from 45 large employers and more than 100 health insurance plans.
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