Delivering quality cancer care appears to be increasingly difficult because of the shortage of oncologists and rising costs of chemotherapy agents, radiation therapy, and imaging tests, according to a team of American researchers. The study found that the following negatively affected patients’ quality-of-care perceptions:
Waiting to see providers.
Having problems with referrals.
Going to different locations for treatment.
Experiencing billing inaccuracies.
Navigating managed care reimbursement.
The definition of quality cancer care differed among stakeholders. The authors noted that healthcare reform must reflect patient needs to maintain and improve quality while controlling costs.
Source: Cancer, March 1, 2011.
An abstract of the study is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.