With the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, changes to how cancer care is delivered are fast approaching. This legislation aims to reward value-based care and incentivize alternative payment models that prize quality. The shift from quantity-based to value-based reimbursement is motivated in part by the rising cost of health care as well as the growing demand from patients, employers, and payers to better understand the quality of care being delivered. In cancer care, one area of high-cost and questionable value being examined is aggressive care at the end of life.
The scientific pace of progress in cancer care is exciting, with 19 therapies approved or granted a new indication in 2015. New categories of drugs, such as immunotherapies, are changing how we treat patients. It is also a time of great change in how cancer care is being delivered in our clinics, hospitals, and academic institutions. We must be vigilant in learning from these experiments in care delivery to ensure that they deliver on their promise of value to patients.
Dr. Bobby Daly, Dr. Andrew Hantel, and Dr. Blase Polite are with the University of Chicago.