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ASCO 2013: Cancer Care Costs: A Look at Patient Expectations

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The Particulars: Research indicates that patients who receive cancer treatment can experience significant financial distress. However, studies have not determined how well patients are informed about their costs of care.

Data Breakdown: In a survey of insured adults with solid tumors who were receiving anticancer therapy for 1 month or longer, 19% reported high or overwhelming financial distress. When compared with expected levels of financial burden, 40% reported that they experienced a higher level of burden whereas about one-third experienced the same level of burden. High and overwhelming financial distress score and low quality of life (QOL) score were associated with higher than expected financial burden.

Take Home Pearls: Many insured patients receiving cancer treatment appear to face out-of-pocket costs that are greater than expected. Those who are least prepared for this burden appear to report higher financial distress and lower QOL.

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