Reducing the costs of cancer care

Students for Quality Health Care

This post isn’t 100% quality related but it does involve using incentives to drive change in cancer care.

Much like nephrologists made fortunes from dialysis centers and the use of synthetic erythropoeitin, oncologists have been profiting for years from the infusion of chemotherapeutic agents.  Currently, cancer doctors purchase drugs directly from pharmaceutical companies and charge a higher price to patients and their insurance companies.  This system has been in place for years and has recently come under heavy fire as pharmaceutical companies rapidly increased drug prices and insurers have decreased reimbursement for the drugs, leading to smaller profit margins.  Unlike the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Medicare no longer reimburses based on the drug manufacturer’s wholesale price (physicians were getting the drugs at significant discount so this still represented a large profit).  Since 2005, Medicare started to limit their reimbursement to 6% of the wholesale price, and the sequester knocked that…

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About justgngr

the ramblings of a medical professional by day, judgmental ginger by night
This entry was posted in health policy, medicine and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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