Chemotherapy administered to Medicare patients in a hospital outpatient setting is up to 47 percent more expensive, on a per-beneficiary basis, than therapy delivered in a community-based clinic, according to a new report issued by the Moran Co. (http://bit.ly/1fy7lkF).
The study, based on an analysis of Medicare data from the years 2009 to 2011, was commissioned by the US Oncology Network, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), and ION Solutions.
“Medicare policies create perverse incentives for hospitals to acquire community practices and bill Medicare at a higher rate,” Barry Brooks, MD, of US Oncology Network, said in a news release. “Unfortunately for patients fighting cancer and for taxpayers, cancer care will cost more than it should until current government policies favoring hospital-based care are ended.”
Listen on the iPad edition of this issue to hear him explain why oncologists in private practice are concerned about the migration of cancer care to hospital outpatient departments.
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