June 10, 2013

Toward Accountable Cancer Care

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Radiation Oncology, Abramson Cancer Center (Dr Bekelman), Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy (Dr Emanuel), Perelman School of Medicine, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (Drs Bekelman and Emanuel), and Department of Health Care Management, Wharton School of Business (Dr Emanuel), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and Harvard Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Kim).

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(11):958-959. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.635

Cancer accounts for over 500 000 deaths and nearly $125 billion in medical costs annually, second only to heart disease. While interventions arising from the Affordable Care Act aim to improve care quality and reduce cost growth for patients with heart disease, reforms directed toward cancer care have received comparatively little attention.

Research and innovation have led to measurable improvements in survival and quality of life for patients with cancer. Treatment now often resembles the management of chronic disease, incorporating both acute inpatient and longitudinal outpatient care. However, the delivery of cancer care is inherently multispecialty and multisetting medical care that easily produces fragmentation, generating high costs and care variability.

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