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Invited Commentary
Feb 11, 2013

Costs, Evidence, and Value in the Medicare Program: Comment on “The Cost of Breast Cancer Screening in the Medicare Population”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (Dr Mandelblatt); The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, New Hampshire (Dr Tosteson); and Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, the Netherlands (Dr van Ravesteyn).

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(3):227-228. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2127

Women who are now 65 years old can expect to live another 20 years, and those aged 75 years will live, on average, for another 13 years based on US life tables. The Medicare program, enacted in 1965, currently provides care to approximately 30 million US women 65 years or older (hereinafter referred to as “older”), and that number is projected to double by 2030 owing to the “graying of America.” Total Medicare spending was $523 billion in 2010 with breast cancer screening accounting for about $1 billion of that total.

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