Navigation Links
Medicare Cuts May Have Led Docs to Prescribe More Chemo
Date:6/17/2010

Treatment rates and use of costlier drugs increased after new rules took effect, study finds

THURSDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Cuts in Medicare payments to doctors who administer outpatient chemotherapy drugs actually led to an increase in treatment rates among Medicare recipients, finds a new study.

"This sort of dynamic runs contrary to what most people would expect, but economists often encounter this sort of thing," Joseph Newhouse, a professor of health policy and management at Harvard University, said in a Harvard news release.

Oncologists can purchase chemotherapy drugs directly from pharmaceutical companies for far below the suggested cost and then bill the patient's insurer the full suggested cost, sometimes making more than a 20 percent profit, according to background information in the news release.

But under the 2005 Medicare Modernization Act, Medicare no longer automatically pays what physicians bill. Instead, Medicare calculates the average amount that physicians typically pay for each chemotherapy drug and reimburse no more than 6 percent above this average cost.

When the payment cuts were introduced, critics said patient care would suffer, the study authors noted.

In the new study, Newhouse and colleagues analyzed Medicare claims for 222,478 beneficiaries diagnosed with lung cancer between 2003 and 2005. On average, chemotherapy treatment within one month of diagnosis increased 2.4 percent after the new rules took effect, from 16.5 percent to 18.9 percent.

In addition, the use of more costly chemotherapy drugs increased, while the use of less-expensive drugs declined, the researchers found.

The study, published online June 17, appears in the July print issue of the journal Health Affairs.

"Physicians don't always respond to incentives the way most people expect, but in this case they do respond in a way that makes sense to economists. It seems logical on the one hand that when you pay less, you get less. However, in this case, since a high proportion of an oncologist's income depends on prescribing, paying less per drug results in more drugs," study first author Mireille Jacobson, of the non-profit RAND Corp., said in the news release.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about chemotherapy.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Harvard University, news release, June 17, 2010


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Vast geographic differences found in drug spending under Medicare
2. Use of unproven mammography tool soars with Medicare coverage
3. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation must implement payment reforms rapidly
4. The New 2010 Modernized Medicare Supplement Plans: Positive Changes in the Midst of Health Care Reform
5. Population health plays a bigger role in geographic differences in Medicare spending
6. Sentinel Life Medicare Supplement – Significant Commission Increase Announced
7. Imaging costs rising faster than total cancer care for Medicare
8. Imaging Costs Soar for Medicare Cancer Patients
9. ASTRO applauds nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to head Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
10. SNM applauds temporary freeze on Medicare cuts
11. For post-boomers, public education worth more than Social Security and Medicare
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Medicare Cuts May Have Led Docs to Prescribe More Chemo
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... first ever copper, antimicrobial, mesh back 24/7 task chair specifically designed for clinical ... “We are thrilled to partner with Cupron® to provide customers with a ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... Silver Birch of Hammond, a new assisted lifestyle community, has welcomed its first ... at 5620 Sohl Avenue in Hammond, serves older adults who need some help to ... apartments. Each of the private apartments at Silver Birch features a kitchenette, spacious bathroom ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “THE FLINTHILLS FAMILY-Our Journey to the Cross”: the personal journey of Bob Massey ... the creation of published authors, Bob and Margaret Massey. Bob Massey is small in ... quick and leather tough." His love for others is apparent in all of his ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Water damage to ... New Jersey School District had left education officials with a number of critical issues ... of the flooring had to be accomplished with little or no disruption to class ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Altec Products, Inc., a leader ... – a one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. , At nVerge 2017, ... to fully utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by providing improved visibility and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... , May 10, 2017 CSSi, the global ... the clinical research industry, is proud to announce the ... The new website features both enriched content and a ... and enhances the company,s already well-established position as the ... "After many months of hard work, we ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... -- Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ORMP ) ... on the development of oral drug delivery systems, ... has granted Oramed a patent titled, "Methods and ... covers Oramed,s invention of an oral glucagon-like peptide-1 ... hormone that stimulates the secretion of insulin from ...
(Date:5/8/2017)... May 8, 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO)., ... ("WRB"), a health care service center company based ... WRB specializes in relationship management programs for leading pharmaceutical ... WRB will join Envoy Health ... services for manufacturers, biotech firms, and other service companies. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: