Rise In Oncologists Working For Hospitals Spurs Higher Chemo Costs: Study

(By Michelle Andrews for Kaiser Health News)

If you have cancer, chances are your outpatient chemotherapy treatment costs are higher if your oncologist works for a health care system than if she has her own practice, a recent study found.

The study by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit research organization, analyzed private health insurance claims and national data about consolidation among doctors and hospitals between 2008 and 2013.

It found significant consolidation between outpatient oncology practices and health care systems in the decade leading up to 2013. The researchers linked that to a rise in spending on drug-based cancer care. Each 1-percentage-point increase in the proportion of medical providers who were affiliated with a hospital or health system was associated with a 34 percent increase in annual average spending per person on outpatient cancer drug treatment, they reported. Read article here…..

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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