In a recent study, published online today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, it was found that Medicare spending for advanced cancer varied by 41% between high and low spending regions and this it did not affect the survival rates in the regions.
Researchers analyzed the data from Medicare and National Cancer Institute for the period, 2002 to 2007. They noticed that 10% of the Medicare payments were made for cancer care to prolong the survival of cancer patients.
Analysts also noted that increased spending was linked to longer hospital stays. Hence, they suggest that doctors should make better use of palliative care for patients.
The authors conclude that in depth analysis of the data is required to optimize patient care reducing the cost and to make sure patients get access to range of treatment options.