Level of Cancer Expenditures has Slowed, Study Shows

HealthDay News — From 1998 to 2012, cancer care expenditures increased at an annualized rate of 2.9%, although the growth slowed from 2007, according to a study published online January 15 in Cancer.

James A. Lee, from the Altarum Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and colleagues examined trends in spending on cancer from 1998 through 2012. They used condition-specific distribution of expenditures from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey together with data from the National Nursing Home Survey and other sources to allocate the Personal Health Care components of the National Health Expenditure Accounts.

The researchers found that from 1998 to 2012, cancer care expenditures increased at an annualized rate of 2.9%. During 2007 to 2009, the share of expenditures for hospital-based care dropped to a low of 48%. Between 2007 to 2009 and 2010 to 2012, there was a substantial decline in professional and clinical services’ shares as the hospital share increased. For all payers, the treated prevalence decreased between the first and last study periods, with the exception of an 11.2% increase for private payers. Out-of-pocket expenditures decreased to 4.7%, while there was a slight increase in Medicare’s share. There was an increase in medication expenditures, notably within mail order and retail settings.

“The previous rapid growth of cancer prevalence and expenditures has now slowed, most remarkably since the 2007 recession,” the authors write.

The study was supported by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

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