According to an article by Alicia Caramenico in FierceHealthcare, a study shows that higher charges for cancer care do not result in better outcomes. Imagine that.
According to the article, “Medicare spending for advanced cancer significantly varies across regions, but there is no direct link between higher regional spending and improved patient survival, according to a study published yesterday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”
Further, “Advanced cancer spending varied by up to 41 percent between high- and low-spending regions.” No appreciable differences in outcomes were seen.
To regular readers of Cracking Health Costs, this kind of thing is old hat. The problem is that no one is doing anything about that 41% variation in charges. Inasmuch as the government cannot deal with these kinds of problems for political reasons, then by default if corporations won’t take this mess on, who will?
Tom Emerick is the President of Emerick Consulting, LLC, and Partner and Chief Strategy Officer with Laurus Strategies, a Chicago-based consulting firm, and cofounder of Edison Health. Prior to starting his consulting career, Tom was with Walmart Stores, where his last position was Vice President, Global Benefit Design, which involved designing and managing benefits for over 1.3 million employees in the U.S., and 300,000 plus in international. For about six years, Tom also headed up Walmart’s Six Sigma and process improvement initiatives. Prior to Walmart, Tom had positions with Burger King Corporation, British Petroleum, and American Fidelity Assurance Company. In 2009, Tom was named by Healthspottr as one of the top 100 innovators in healthcare the US for his work on medical ethics. In December 2012, Tom was listed in Forbes.com as one of 13 unsung heroes changing healthcare forever.