Navigation Links
Cancer Care Unaffected by Doctor Reimbursement Changes

Study says Medicare Modernization Act yet to show drop-off in access predicted by critics

TUESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Chemotherapy patients have not lost access to care despite federal legislation that has reduced reimbursements to their doctors in recent years, a new report finds.

Critics feared the passing of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 would make treatment more difficult, but investigators from the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) found little difference in the distance chemo patients traveled to be treated and the time between diagnosis and start of treatment.

"The Medicare Modernization Act took issue with the fact that oncologists were often reimbursed too much -- sometimes as much as three times what they had paid -- for the chemotherapy drugs they were giving their patients, and subsequently, doctors saw those reimbursement payments fall," senior study investigator Dr. Kevin Schulman, director of the DCRI's Center for Clinical and Genetic Economics, said in a prepared statement. "The concern was that patient care would suffer if doctors had to close their practices or scale back, making it necessary for patients to travel farther or go to inpatient facilities for treatment. Our study showed that this, in fact, has not yet occurred."

The researchers studied the treatment of people with leukemia, lymphoma, breast, lung or colorectal cancer from across the United States from 2003, before the act passed, through 2006.

"The distance patients traveled for chemotherapy treatments did not considerably increase after passage of the act," lead investigator Lesley Curtis, a health services researcher in the DCRI, said in a prepared statement. "And despite concerns that patients would have to go to inpatient settings with longer wait times to be treated, we observed a small shift in the provision of initial chemotherapy from inpatient to outpatient settings between 2003 and 2006."

The median amount of time between diagnosis and chemotherapy was 28 days and did not change significantly, regardless of the treatment settings between 2003 and 2006, Curtis said.

"We did find that patients in rural areas tended to have to wait longer to begin their chemotherapy after diagnosis -- their wait times increased by up to five days from 2003 to 2006," Curtis said. "Whether this is something that could have a negative effect on treatment outcomes is still unknown, but it is something we should continue to follow."

The findings were published in the July 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The lower reimbursement may still have long-term effects that have yet to be realized, Curtis cautioned.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about cancer and cancer treatments.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: Duke University Medical Center, news release, July 8, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Hormone Therapy Shows Little Benefit Against Prostate Cancer
2. College-Educated Fare Better When Cancer Strikes
3. FDA Approves Genetic Test for Breast Cancer
4. Thickness, Location Predict Skin Cancers Spread
5. Patients unaware of link between smoking and bladder cancer
6. Jefferson researchers show antibody to breast cancer-secreted protein blocks metastasis
7. Ivy Foundation Funds New Brain Cancer Research Consortium : $3M Stage I Project Aims to Improve Personalized Medicine for Patients
8. Monogram Announces Commercial Availability of the HERmark(TM) Breast Cancer Assay
9. Inaugural Big Expedition for Cancer Research Encounters Mountain As Challenging As Finding a Cure for Cancer
10. Protein thought to promote cancer instead functions as a tumor suppressor
11. Overweight, insulin resistant women at greater risk of advanced breast cancer diagnosis, says study
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... Rosa, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... Management and Analytics for the last 15 years, announced today that Michigan-based Family ... A provider of care for over 45 years, FHC was awarded the largest ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... new additions to its industry-leading suite of automated breast density assessment and ... America (RSNA) meeting, November 29-December 4, 2015 (South Hall booth #2377). Volpara’s ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Sikka Software announced today that ... Their Ecosystem empowers dentists to make complex business decisions by providing the tools and ... a free fee survey with 10 procedures customized by zip code. , The ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Laser Center is one of a select few plastic surgeons in the New ... fat removal. , SculpSure™ is the world’s first heat-induced laser treatment for fat ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... training for healthcare professionals worldwide today released the results of a survey of ... Middle East and Africa found a growing global demand for high quality online ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)...  Strengthening its leadership in connected healthcare informatics, ... IntelliSpace Portal 8.0 , the latest edition of ... helps radiologists detect, diagnose and follow-up on treatment of ... North America Annual Meeting (RSNA) in ... the changing demands in radiology that result from an ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... -- The GE Health Cloud 1 was unveiled today at ... North America (RSNA) meeting in Chicago ... cloud ecosystem and its applications will connect radiologists and clinicians ... teams – both inside and outside the hospital setting. ... "As the digital industrial leader, we are betting big on ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Pays-Bas, November 27, 2015 ... au traitement photodynamique au Bremachlorin contre le cancer ... approche consistant à combiner l,immunothérapie au traitement photodynamique ... --> Une nouvelle approche consistant ... contre le cancer avancé.    ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: