Study: Costly Breast Cancer Treatment More Common At For-Profit Hospitals

“Study: Costly Breast Cancer Treatment More Common At For-Profit Hospitals.” By Roni Caryn Rabin, Kaiser Health News.

Research funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published in the May issue of the journal Surgery finds that “reimbursement is a significant driver of the adoption of new cancer therapies.” Dr. Cary P. Gross, a professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and the paper’s senior author said, “We wanted to see whether for-profit hospitals, which arguably have a greater incentive to provide returns to their shareholders, would be more likely to adopt a higher-reimbursement therapy than a nonprofit hospital — and that’s exactly what we found.” Gross said the take-home message for patients is that treatment recommendations vary from provider to provider, and they should always get a second opinion. Both physicians and members of the general public tend to become “enamored” with new treatment options, he said, even when the evidence is limited or lacking.

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