Integrating cost communication into cancer care

Emerging cancer therapies are some of the most expensive in all of medical care, often for relatively limited benefit to life or quality of life. Several recent international studies demonstrate that cost and cost effectiveness are increasingly important to clinical oncology and influence patient care, yet oncologists are ill-prepared to integrate these concepts into clinical care. Little is known about the perspectives and experience of oncologists and patients toward cost and cost effectiveness in US integrated health care systems.



We propose a pilot study to explore the beliefs and experiences of oncologists and patients in an integrated care system (Group Health Cooperative). Our primary research question is: how do oncologists and people with cancer use information on cost and cost effectiveness for decision making in clinical care? Our secondary question is: what strategies would best support clinician knowledge or use of cost or cost effectiveness data?



Our specific aims are:

1. Understand oncologists’ practices in discussing treatment costs with patients

2. Understand the needs of people with cancer in discussing costs of cancer treatment options with their oncologist

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