More Spending on Advanced Cancer May Not Improve Survival Rates

By: Randi Siegel
A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute did not find a link between increased survival rates and more spending on patients with advanced cancer.  (It looked at Medicare patients with advanced cancer of a variety of types, dividing them by geographic regions and then into 5 groups based on the amount spent on their care.)  The differences in patient survival by region were not statistically significant; however, the amount spent on their care by varied by 30 – 40%. 
In light of these findings, the authors suggest that healthcare providers adjust the care provided to patients with advanced cancer.  Specifically, they should reduce “potentially avoidable hospitalizations,” which were a major source of the increased spending, and also increase “timely access to palliative care for patients with advanced cancer," both of which are part of providing more "patient-centered care." 
Geek info
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Regional Variations in Spending and Survival for Older Adults with Advanced Cancer
Date: March 12, 2013
Author: Brooks, et al. 
Media Reporting:


Kaiser Health News



March 13, 2013 | Advance Care Planning Research