Innovation, the Price of Oncology Drugs in the U.S. and the “Rocky Relationship” between Payers and Providers
This week in health care, reports on the escalating price of cancer drugs and the financial toxicities for patients and caregivers, the impact of Medicare Part D spending, and ACOs.
In this opinion piece, the Peter Bach, M.D., Director of the Center of Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center asks, “When does the potential to profit exceed that which is needed to drive innovation and pervert the market?”
In a recent survey by Medscape, physicians expressed a bevy of negative feelings about payers. “Two thirds of physicians report having problems with health insurance exchange plans, with 29% saying they have “lots of problems.””
In a recent report, Cancer Support Community argues that financial toxicity is taking a toll on cancer survivors: “As they live longer, patients say they need more help coping with long-term side effects. A significant portion have skimped on medical care and many have cut spending on food to save money. Forty-two percent of patients reported high levels of anxiety about the financial cost of cancer.”
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association argues that “hospital ownership of physician groups in California led to a 10 to 20 percent increase in overall costs.”
Recently the Congressional Budget Office has “lowered its projections of total spending on Medicare benefits from 2012 through 2021 by $370 billion, excluding sequestration savings.” The culprit? This HealthAffairs analysis suggests that Part D has accounted for over 60% of the spending slowdown (other than sequestration).
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