Tag Archives: health care costs

Don’t confuse bargain shopping with saving lives!

FIGHT COLORECTAL CANCER RESPONSE TO NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE (6/03/2013): Fight Colorectal Cancer applauds the New York Times for shedding light on how revenue is generated by medical practices. Importantly however, the crux of the issue is not the use or overuse of colonoscopies and the variance in pricing. Rather, the main problem to be fixed in the United States is a broken fee-reimbursement structure that puts pressure on local practices and hospitals to inflate the price of reliable and needed services, like colonoscopies, to compensate for under-reimbursement for other medical services. It is unfortunate that colorectal cancer screening is used in this article as a primary example of failure

New organization works to insure the uninsured

Under the new health care law, millions of Americans will benefit from more accessible and affordable health care – but the key will be getting individuals actually enrolled. Enroll America is a new nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that all Americans are enrolled in and retain health coverage. It will work at the state and federal levels to push for streamlined enrollment procedures and will also raise awareness of enrollment options among the uninsured. If you are uninsured, learn about your options at the Enroll America website.

Cost of Cancer Care Expected to Skyrocket in Next Decade

The U.S. sticker price for cancer care by 2020 will likely increase at least 27% over the next decade, to a minimum $158 billion yearly by 2020, according to the National Cancer Institute. Colorectal cancer ranks 2nd behind breast cancer in 2010 total costs of care by cancer type, and will remain one of the top 5 most costly cancers in 2020. Those are just two of many facts in an important paper published in the Jan. 19 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The predicted costs are much higher than previous estimates because the authors used the most current cost data (2006 Medicare) which, for the first time, includes

Colon Cancer Screening Saves More Money

With the increasing expense of treating colorectal cancer, treatment cost savings in the near future will more than double when screening prevents colon and rectal cancers or finds them early. Looking at expense for an entire population, all screening methods except colonoscopy cost less than treating those cancers that developed, and the net cost of colonoscopy screening fell from over $1,300 to less than $300 per individual in the population.

This Week's Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: January 30

This week’s reports include information about mismatch repair genes in stage IV colorectal cancer, colon surgery complications for very obese patients, and the impact of computerization on hospital outcomes. In addition, there are links to the Surgeon General’s new Family Health Portrait and a report from Families USA on health care insurance costs for laid off workers.

KRAS Testing Has Potential to Save Millions in Health Care Costs

Update from the 2009 Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium Over half a billion dollars could potentially be saved if all patients with colorectal cancer that had spread were tested for the KRAS gene before beginning treatment. Because patients with mutated KRAS in their tumors don’t benefit from treatment with EGFR inhibitors Erbitux® (cetuximab) and Vectibix™ (panitumumab), offering them those drugs is a futile expense.  In addition, trying the drugs delays potentially effective treatment and exposes patients to skin rash and other unnecessary side effects.

US Health Care Spending Growth Slowed in 2007

Although US health care spending grew more slowly in 2007, its rate still outpaced general economic growth.  Total health care costs in 2007 reached $2.2 trillion or $7,421 for every American. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a report from the CMS Office of the Actuary on Tuesday that showed overall health care spending grew at a 6.1 percent rate in 2007, down from 6.7 in 2006 and the slowest rate of growth since 1998.  Overall economic growth was 4.8 percent. Health care spending’s share of the Gross Domestic Product continued to increase, reaching 16.2 percent, an increase of 0.2 percent over 2006.

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