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Has the burden shifted over time?
Article first published online: 10 MAY 2010
Copyright © 2010 American Cancer Society
Volume 116, Issue 14, pages 3477–3484, 15 July 2010
How to Cite
Tangka, F. K., Trogdon, J. G., Richardson, L. C., Howard, D., Sabatino, S. A. and Finkelstein, E. A. (2010), Cancer treatment cost in the United States. Cancer, 116: 3477–3484. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25150
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This article is United States government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America
- Issue published online: 2 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 10 MAY 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 2 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Received: 10 SEP 2009
- medical expenditures;
- health insurance;
- cost of illness;
- Medical Expenditure Panel Survey;
- National Medical Expenditure Survey
There has not been a comprehensive analysis of how aggregate cancer costs have changed over time. The authors present 1) updated estimates of the prevalence and total cost of cancer for select payers and how these have changed over the past 2 decades; and 2) for each payer, the distribution of payments by type of service over time to assess whether there have been shifts in cancer treatment settings.
Pooled data from the 2001 through 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the 1987 National Medical Care Expenditure Survey were used for the analysis. The authors used an econometric approach to estimate cancer-attributable medical expenditures by payer and type of service.
In 1987, the total medical cost of cancer (in 2007 US dollars) was $24.7 billion. Private payers financed the largest share of the total (42%), followed by Medicare (33%), out of pocket (17%), other public (7%), and Medicaid (1%). Between 1987 and the 2001 to 2005 period, the total medical cost of cancer increased to $48.1 billion. In 2001 to 2005, the shares of cancer costs were: private insurance (50%), Medicare (34%), out of pocket (8%), other public (5%), and Medicaid (3%). The share of total cancer costs that resulted from inpatient admissions fell from 64.4% in 1987 to 27.5% in 2001 to 2005.
The authors identified 3 trends in the total costs of cancer: 1) the medical costs of cancer have nearly doubled; 2) cancer costs have shifted away from the inpatient setting; and 3) the share of these costs paid for by private insurance and Medicaid have increased. Cancer 2010. Published 2010 by American Cancer Society.