Understanding Cost and Value in Cancer Screening and Treatment
Using SEER-Medicare data, we are assessing trends and geographic variation in Medicare expenditures for screening and treatment of breast and prostate cancers and treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes. Most studies of cancer focus exclusively on the cost of treatment, but we incorporate expenditures related to cancer screening and surveillance as well as treatment. Studies of the cost of screening are particularly relevant in situations where guidelines and evidence do not support the use of the test or procedure. We assess concurrent trends between Medicare beneficiaries residing within defined geographic regions to assess the impact of screening and treatment approach on cost.