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:5/4/2016)... ... 04, 2016 , ... All-Star Insurance of Northeast TX has ... of their local community. The agency pledges to select a new beneficiary every ... to bring awareness to important local causes with fundraising and other support, by ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... that is transforming breastfeeding for nursing mothers. The company’s patented technology, The Smart ... breastfeeding. Today, the company announced that the technology is now available for purchase ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Pharmacy ... announced that it was chosen as the Pharmaceutical News Provider of the Year ... awards acknowledge the hard work and dedication of community members who strive to ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... support for knees, ankles, and elbows. Engineered with athletes in mind, OMNIFORCE ... manufacturing (opposed to ineffective circular knitting, common in the industry) produces premium ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... they acquired Pocono Sterilizer, an equipment sterilization service and sales company located in ... provides medical and research-related equipment and asset management services to the medical and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... of the  "Global Acute lymphocytic Leukemia Market ... to their offering.       (Logo: ... Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape ... Lymphocytic Leukemia pipeline products, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Cell Therapy Market Outlook 2020" report to their ... , ,Recombinant technology has improved significantly in past years ... developed in coming years. Many cancer drugs have been ... therapies are also expected to be developed with its ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016 ACME ... Jack Whelan and Delaware County Councilman ... HCI) Nasal Spray in all ACME pharmacies ... Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), naloxone has saved 26,463 ... police officers in Delaware County were authorized ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: