ASCO Focuses on High Cancer Cost and Hepatitis C Patients Seek Lower Cost Treatments Via Medical Tourism
This week in healthcare, the ASCO Annual Conference sheds a bright light on the burden of high cancer costs to patients and the U.S. healthcare system and U.S. hepatitis C patients begin to look overseas for cheaper drug access.
At the recent ASCO Annual Meeting, one session asked, ““Why treat prices as immutable? Would we really pay an infinite amount for a microscopic benefit?” Experts then went on to discuss that “cost does not necessarily reflect drug value” and how to set cancer drug prices based on value.
After Indian generic drug makers struck a deal with Gilead for lower prices for its two high-priced hepatitis C drugs, India is now the focus of a potential new wave of “drug tourism.” According to a spokesman from the Medical Tourism Association, “I know people who have hepatitis C and the only thing they can think about is getting this drug. There is definitely a high interest in going abroad.”
This Forbes analysis of abstracts presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting highlights the focus on the “ErbB family” and immuno-oncology checkpoint targets” at the conference.
Data released at the recent ASCO Annual Meeting by Anthem about their cancer quality care program showed that “between July and December 2014, 616 practices registered 5,538 patients in the program that included the three types of cancer offered–breast, colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer.”
CMS’s recent release of reimbursement data for Medicare Part B shows $90 billion reimbursed to 950,000 providers in 2013. While the average reimbursement amount came to $74,000, five doctors received more than $10 million.
A recent ASCO study, whose findings were presented at the recent Annual Meeting in Chicago, has found that “the total annual economic burden per nonelderly cancer survivor was $20,238 for colorectal, $14,202 for breast, and $9,278 for prostate cancer.”
To discuss CMS’s new oncology care model, The American Journal of Managed Care convened a panel of experts at its Oncology Stakeholders Summit. The panel included experts from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and the Community Oncology Alliance.
As health plans begin to look ahead to rates for 2016, many are hoping to raise their rates. AIS Health reports that “major players on the exchanges are seeking rate hikes well into the double digits for the 2016 plan year.”
At ASCO’s Annual Meeting this past week, ASCO announced plans for their Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) study and the National Cancer Institute for their NCI-MATCH: Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice trial.
A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation about the medical loss ratio (MLR) in 2014 has found that “the financial performance of insurers has not changed substantially since the years before the Affordable Care Act.”
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