State-level cancer treatment costs: How much and who pays?

Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.2). 04/2013; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.27992
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Cancer treatment accounts for approximately 5% of national health expenditures. However, no state-level estimates of cancer treatment costs have been published. METHODS: In analyses of data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the National Nursing Home Survey, the US Census Bureau, the Current Population Survey, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, this study used regression modeling to estimate annual state-level cancer care costs during 2004 to 2008 for 4 categories of payers: all payers, Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. RESULTS: State-level cancer care costs ranged from $227 million to $13.6 billion (median = $2.0 billion) in 2010 dollars. Medicare paid between 25.1% and 36.1% of these costs (median = 32.5%); private insurance paid between 36.0% and 49.6% (median = 43.3%); and Medicaid paid between 2.0% and 8.8% (median = 4.8%). Cancer treatment accounted for 3.8% to 8.7% of all state-level medical expenditures (median = 7.0%), 8.5% to 15.0% of state-level Medicare expenditures (median = 10.6%), 1.0% to 4.9% of state-level Medicaid expenditures (median = 2.2%), and 5.5% to 10.9% of state-level private insurance expenditures (median = 8.7%). CONCLUSIONS: The costs of cancer treatment were substantial in all states and accounted for a sizable fraction of medical expenditures for all payers. The high cost of cancer treatment underscores the importance of preventing and controlling cancer as one approach to manage state-level medical costs. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.

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