Category Archives: Cost

What Health Care Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act Means to You

What Health Care Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act Means to You

If you are thinking about enrolling for health care coverage for 2019, you have from November 1-December 15, 2018 to apply through Open Enrollment.  Here’s what you need to know about what it will pay for:

  •  Doctor’s visits—Doctor’s visits and outpatient surgery or procedures that do not take place in a hospital;
  • Trips to the emergency room—the average cost can be more than an average month’s rent;
  • Treatment in the hospital for inpatient care.  If not insured, an average three-day stay can cost $30,000;
  • Care before and after a baby is born— prenatal care, labor and delivery costs tens of thousands of dollars.  A C-section alone can cost $50,000;
  • Mental health and substance use disorder serviceswhich include treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy;
  • Your prescription drugs—almost half of all Americans took at least one prescription drug in the last 30 days;
  • Services and devices to help you recover from injury or to help with disabilities or chronic conditions. This includes physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychiatric rehabilitation;
  • Lab tests, whether complicated or simple blood tests;
  • Preventive services can include counseling, cancer screenings, and vaccines to keep you healthy; and
  • Pediatric services including dental care and vision care for children.

 

For more information about how to sign up for health insurance through Open Enrollment under the ACA, see our article here.

Why do mastectomy patients with breast implants commit suicide?

Diana Zuckerman, PhD

Breast cancer patients often describe having a new appreciation for life. It is important for women and their friends and family members to know that women who have breast cancer have an increased likelihood of committing suicide for up to 15 years after their cancer diagnosis [1].

Even more surprising, one study among women who got breast implants after mastectomy found that their suicide rate was 10 times higher compared to other mastectomy patients [2]. More research is needed, but this study has received little attention. No other studies were conducted to learn more.  However, it is important to note that all the women in the study had early-stage breast cancer – which experts agree does not require a mastectomy. In fact, the latest research on mastectomies indicates that women who undergo mastectomy do not live as long as women of the same age and diagnosis who undergo lumpectomy and radiation instead.

The Bottom Line

If mastectomy is not medically necessary, it is a bad choice since cancer patients who undergo mastectomy don’t live as long as lumpectomy patients and additionally, are more likely to commit suicide.

 

Sources

[1]  Misono, S., Weiss, N.S., Fann, J.R., Redman, M., & Yueh, B. (2008). Incidence of suicide in persons with cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology,26, 4731-4738. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.13.8941] [end Riihimäki, M., Thomsen, H., Brandt, A., Sundquist, J., & Hemminki, K. (2012). Death causes in breast cancer patients.Annals of Oncology, 23, 604-601. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdr160

[2] Le, G.M., O’Malley, C.D., Glaser, S.L., Lynch, C.F., Stanford, J.L., Keegan, T.H.M., & West, D.W. (2005). Breast implants following mastectomy in women with early-stage breast cancer: Prevalence and impact on survival. Breast Cancer Research, 7, R184-R193. doi: 10.1186/bcr974

Is Newer and More Expensive Care Better?

Sarah Miller, RN and Laura Covarrubias

Is more medical care really better? What about all these new, expensive drugs and high-tech surgeries? Do they save lives or improve health?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are not alone, but you may not be correct. A study done by the American Institutes for Research on insured adults between ages 18 and 64, found that most thought that more care, newer medical technology, and more expensive care were better. In addition, the adults interviewed believed that all care met minimum quality standards, and they were skeptical of evidence-based medical guidelines.

A typical response was “I don’t see how extra care could be harmful to your health. Care would only benefit you.” Although this belief is widely held, it is not accurate.  For example, if a healthy 80-year old man or woman without cancer symptoms is screened for various types of cancer, any abnormal findings are likely to result in treatment that is unlikely to benefit them.  That is why the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force usually recommends against screening 80-year olds for these cancers, although they recommend diagnostic testing for patients of all ages if they have symptoms.

“You get what you pay for” is another popular opinion, with many people assuming that more expensive care is superior. However, care that is far less expensive is sometimes just as good or even better.  One example of this is robotic prostatectomy, a surgery for men with prostate cancer that is done by a robot operated by the surgeon. Many men want this type of surgery, which costs $2,600 more than a regular prostate surgery. Some studies have shown that men who have the robotic surgery have lower rates of complications after the surgery, but others have shown that there is no difference. Most researchers who have conducted studies on this agree that the robotic surgery has not yet been proven to be any better than regular prostate surgery.

Even if robotic surgery isn’t worse than the regular surgery, is it worth the extra $2600? Consider this: for every two insured men that choose to have regular rather than robotic surgery, the cost savings could more than pay for one uninsured man with prostate cancer to have this life-saving surgery.[5] This is important to consider in the United States, where many people are not able to afford their medical care.

A similar idea that many patients have is “if it’s newer, it’s better.” While it may seem like new treatments would be chosen because they are better, this is rarely true. For example, cetuximab (also called Erbitux) was introduced in 2008 as a new addition to treatment for lung cancer patients. Although the drug was called a breakthrough in treatment for lung cancer, the average patient taking the drug lived only 1.2 months longer than patients not taking the drug. And in the many months of taking the drug, 85% of patients experienced skin toxicity, which often caused great discomfort (Fojo & Grady).  And despite the small possible advantages of the drug, it cost $80,000 for just a few months of treatment, resulting in huge medical bills that many families could not afford.  Avastin for Stage 4 breast cancer is an even more dramatic example.  Avastin is used for many cancers, but after several years, it became clear that on average, the breast cancer patients taking it were not living any longer and were more likely to have a stroke or other very serious and debilitating reaction to the drug that could make their last months much more painful physically and psychologically.

Cereal companies regularly add “New” in big letters on cereal boxes, because that sells more products (even if what is new might be a new toy inside).  Patients should be more cautious.  While some patients may want to take the chance that a new drug might be better, but many would rather know what the risks are before trying a new medication that could be worse than the tried and true treatments.

Evidence-Based Guidelines

Medical guidelines are usually established by a group that is considered expert in the subject of the guidelines. Medical guidelines are usually based on evidence from scientific research and are written according to the agreement a group of experts comes to about what the research tells them is the best for patients.

Unfortunately, research indicates that many adults are skeptical about guidelines.  Many seemed to think that asking providers to use guidelines did not allow them to make decisions based on their own expertise and that they could be used to ration care so that people did not “take” too much. One participant said that medical guidelines are “taking your choice away and putting it in someone else’s hands.”

Contrary to the mistaken belief that providers were restricted to actions dictated by the guidelines, in reality, guidelines are meant to guide providers by making suggestions based on the best evidence. Providers are still able to make the final recommendation to patients based on their professional expertise.

Is a doctor’s individual experience more valuable than guidelines?  That’s hard to say, but usually it would not be.  Guidelines are based on evidence from medical research comparing large groups of people who have had different types of treatment. Therefore, guidelines based on science will, on average, provide the best care for most people.  However, a physician with impressive expertise may be able to predict which patients are more likely to benefit from other types of treatment.

For example, for years, it was recommended that women between 40 and 69 years of age have a mammogram every year to screen for breast cancer. In 2007, however, the American College of Physicians changed their guidelines to leave it up to physicians to decide whether women between 40-50 needed annual mammograms.  In 2009, the US. Preventive Services Task Force wrote new guidelines, based on research evidence from thousands of women. The new guidelines recommended that women age 40-49 should not have regular mammograms to screen for breast cancer unless they had an especially high risk of breast cancer, and that women age 50-75 should have screening mammograms every two years – extending the age to older women but cutting the frequency from annually to every other year.

Many people challenged the new guidelines believing they could substantially delay the detection of cancer, especially for women under 50.  Isn’t it always better to have a chance to detect cancer earlier?

The answer is yes and no. Although mammograms save the lives of many women (including those in their 40’s), they also expose women to harmful radiation that can actually cause cancer over the course of women’s lifetimes. The researchers considered other forms of harm as well, such as the emotional trauma of a “false positive” results that result in stressful and expensive biopsies.  They concluded that the potential for harm outweighed the potential benefits of mammograms for the average women under age 50 and over 75, as did annual rather than biyearly mammograms for women age 50-75.

Many people did not agree with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s interpretation of the evidence, however.  It is partly a matter of interpretation.  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force was advising average women, and some cancer advocates believe that it is too difficult to predict whether a person is at high risk or not.  As a result, groups such as the American Cancer Society prefer to err on the side of over-treatment and radiation exposures, rather than on the side of potential under-treatment and reducing radiation exposure.

Health care providers are able to judge the two sets of guidelines and decide what to recommend for specific patients. For example, a woman in her 30’s who has many family members with breast cancer, including some at a young age, may be advised to have digital mammograms every other year in their 30’s (because they are more accurate than traditional mammograms and use less radiation) and annually after that.

“All care meets minimum quality standards” is another common belief.  Most could imagine providers making an occasional mistake, but few thought that there were any providers who consistently delivered a quality of care that did not meet basic standards.[1] Unfortunately, research shows that health care varies from doctor to doctor, and many do not meet minimum quality standards. The quality of care that doctors provide varies by the type of clinic where they work (publicly or privately funded, for instance), the communication skills of the doctor, and even how much sleep the doctor has been getting (Manusukhani; Kenny; Philipson).

What Can We Learn From This?

This study gives some insight into why we spend so much on health care and why efforts to improve medical care are often opposed as “rationing” or “death panels.” Unfortunately, most patients want the newest and most expensive care, and don’t understand that it may not be as safe or as effective as older, less expensive treatments.

In the United States, we spend more per person on health care than any other country, and yet our citizens are not as healthy as those in Japan, France, and Cuba, countries that spend far less per person on health care.

In addition to wasting money on treatments that are no better, and are sometimes inferior, our wasteful spending also means that we have less money for other essential services, such as education, housing, and national security.4

Of course, there is a lot of very expensive medical care that is medically necessary and could save a person’s life, such as trauma care in an emergency room for someone who has been in a serious car accident. But, there are also popular treatments that are expensive and not necessary, like a woman having labor induced for convenience when it would be safer and less expensive to have a natural birth. The key is to eliminate the unnecessary care so that we can continue to afford the necessary, beneficial care.

When it is not clear whether more expensive care actually helps or is just a waste of money, medical research can point us in the right direction. That’s why it is a good strategy to require “comparative effectiveness research” to determine whether, for example, robotic prostate surgery is better than regular surgery, or just needlessly more expensive.  It is often not obvious which treatments are the best, and sometimes they are the most expensive treatments but other times they may be the least expensive treatments or no treatment at all.

Doctors and patients can be part of improving medical care, by asking whether research conclusively shows which treatment is safer and which is most effective, instead of wrongly assuming that guidelines are aimed at saving money, not improving care.

References:

  1. Carman, KL; Maurer, M; Mathews, J; Dardess, P; McGee, J; Evers, M; & Marlo, KO, Evidence that consumers are skeptical about evidence-based health care, Health Affairs, 7 1400-6, 2010.
  2. Centers for disease control and prevention. Births: Final data for 2006, National Vital Statistics Reports.
  3. Caughney, AB; Sundaram, V; Kaimal, AJ; Cheng, YW; Geinger, A; Little, SE; Lee, JF; et.al. Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes of induction of labor. Evid Rep Technol Assess. 176 pp.1-257, 2009.
  4. Bodner-Adler, B; Bodner, K; Patiesky, N; Klimberger, O; Chalubinski, K; Mayerhofer, K; & Husslein, P; Influence of labor induction on obstetric outcomes in patients with prolonged pregnancy: A comparison between elective labor induction and spontaneous onset of labor beyond term. The Middle European Journal of Medicine. 117(7-8) pp. 287-92, 2005.
  5. Bolenz, C; Gupta, A; Hotze, T; Ho, R; Cadeddu, JA; Roehrborn, C; & Lotan, Y; Cost Comparison of Laproscopic, Robotic, and Open Radical Prostatectomy for Prostate Cancer, European Urology, 57 pp. 453-8, 2010.
  6. Lowrance, WT; Elkin, EB; Jacks, LM; Yee, DS; Jang, TL; Laudone, VP; Guillanneau, BD, Scardino, PT; & Eastham, JA, Comparative effectiveness of prostate cancer treatments: A population-based analysis of postoperative outcomes, The Journal of Urology, 183, 1366-72, 2010.
  7. Weizer, AZ; Strope, S; and Wood, DP, Margin control in laproscopic robotic prostatectomy: What are the REAL outcomes? Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations, 28 pp.201-14, 2010.
  8. Barocas, DA; Salem, S; Kordan , Y; Herrell, SD; Chang, SS; Clark, PE; Davis, R; Baumgartner, R; Phillips, S; Cookson, MS; & Smith, JA, Robotic assisted laproscopic prostatectomy for clinically localized prostate cancer: Comparison of short-term biochemical recurrence-free survival, The Journal of Urology, 183, 990-6, 2010.
  9. Murphy, DC; Bjartell, A; Ficarra, V; Graefen, M; Haese, A; Montironi, R; Montorsi, F; Moul, JW; Novara, G; Sauter, G; Sulser, T; & van der Poel, H, Downsides of robot-assisted laproscopic prostatectomy: Limitations and complications. 57 pp. 735-46, 2009.
  10. Coelho, RF; Chauhan, S; Palmer, KJ; Rocco, B; Patel, MB; & Patel, VR, Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy: A review of outcomes, British Journal of Urology International, 104, 1428-35, 2009.
  11. US Preventive Services Task Force, Screening for breast cancer: Recommendation statement 2009. Retrieved from: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf09/breastcancer/brcanrs.htm  on July 20, 2010.
  12. American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer: Breast Cancer, 2010, Retrieved From: http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/FindCancerEarly/CancerScreeningGuidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer  on July 20, 2010.
  13. Smith, S; Newhouse, JP; & Freeland, MS; Income, insurance and technology: Why does health spending outpace economic growth? Health Affairs, 28(5) pp. 1276-84, 2009.
  14. Aaron, HJ and Ginsburg, PB; Is health spending excessive? If so, what can we do about it? Health Affairs

Lowering the Cost of Cancer Treatment

Krista Brooks, Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund

The number of new cases of the four most common types of cancers (prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal) have been declining since 1998, but Americans are still spending billions in cancer care costs.[1] In 2006, cancer care accounted for an estimated $104.1 billion in medical care spending in the United States and that number will continue to increase in the upcoming years.[1] The National Cancer Institute found that if incidence (which means the number of new cases), survival, and treatment costs stay the same, cancer costs in 2020 will show a 27% increase from 2010 solely based on the growing and aging population in the U.S.[2] As cancer treatment becomes more effective, the increasing number of cancer survivors will require additional care, which will also contribute to overall cost increases.[2] While these trends reflect a changing U.S. population and the increase in cancer survivors, they do not explain why each individual must pay so much for cancer care and treatment.

A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that one in four families affected by cancer say the experience used up all or most of the patient’s  savings, and one in eight say they borrowed money from relatives.[3] For the uninsured, the burden was even higher: “one in four delayed or decided not to get treatment because of its cost.”[3] These treatments are often essential, but the high costs are often not sustainable for individuals, families, or for the U.S. healthcare system.

Why do Cancer Treatment Costs Continue to Rise at Astronomical Rates?

Pharmaceutical companies, physician practices, and cancer screenings all play a role in the rising costs of treating cancer patients.  The treatment costs could be reduced, however.  Fortunately, there are now a variety of treatment options from which most patients can choose.  One problem is that pharmaceutical companies tend to charge higher prices for their new drugs; for example, Provenge, used to fight prostate cancer, is $93,000 for just one course of treatment.[4] Avastin typically costs stage 4 breast cancer patients more than $80,000, but the latest research indicates that for most patients it does not increase survival and is likely to harm quality of life.[5,6] Some cancer medications range from $5,000 to $10,000 per month, which over several years really adds up.[7] Many of these new drugs work for relatively few people, while most patients pay thousands of dollars and do not benefit or may even be harmed.  The companies have no incentive to determine which patients are most likely to benefit, if they can instead sell the drugs to most patients, including those who won’t benefit.  That leaves doctors and patients trying many expensive treatments until they find one that works for each individual.  Insurance companies, Medicare, and sometimes the individual must pay these exorbitant costs during this trial and error treatment.

Another factor that contributes to the high cost of cancer treatments can be a physician’s own treatment recommendations.  Physicians are there to help their patients, but research has shown that physicians who have financial ties to specific companies tend to recommend medical products made by those companies.[8,9] Many patients also rely on Medicare, which is not allowed to deny or limit cancer treatment based on cost.  As a result, Medicare patients and their doctors often have no incentive to choose equally effective but less expensive medications and treatments.[10,11] Doctors and patients also have little incentive to question high-priced treatments.[12] Unfortunately, physicians frequently do not adhere to evidence-based guidelines, leading them to sometimes prescribe and perform tests that may be more expensive than beneficial to patients.[13]

Cancer costs can add up-even before cancer is actually diagnosed.  Cancer screenings are designed to increase the number of patients who are diagnosed early, before they have any symptoms. When performed according to recommended guidelines, screening can help patients get a much earlier start on treatment. However, cancer screening tests often identify abnormalities that may or may not be cancer, which can result in expensive testing, unnecessary treatment, and added costs.  These costs can’t always be avoided, but they are increased when screening guidelines are not followed.  For example, a 2011 study found that a large number of elderly men were being screened for prostate cancer even though they were beyond the target age range for testing.[14] Prostate cancer screening tests can cause serious harm, exposing men to unnecessary treatments as well as unnecessary costs.  Similar results have been found for cervical cancer screening in women.  Certain types of HPV (Human Papillomavirus) have been linked to cervical cancer, so physicians like to determine the type of HPV as a method to screen for cervical cancer.  Unfortunately, a Center for Disease Control (CDC) study found that physicians are performing unnecessary and expensive routine HPV tests.[15] When HPV tests were initially developed, two types of tests were run together: one to detect HPVs that can cause cancer, and one for HPVs that don’t cause cancer.  However, now that an HPV test that focuses only on cancer-causing HPV has been available, that is the only HPV test recommended for physicians to use.  This recommended test should only be done for women over 21 who have inconclusive pap smear results, or women over 30 who are undergoing pap smears. The problem is that many physicians and clinics are using the cervical cancer HPV test routinely for all patients, or are using both the recommended HPV test and the non-recommended test for non-cancerous HPV; either of these inappropriate uses results in a doubling of medical bills, without any additional benefit to the patient.[16] Screening mammograms for women above or below the recommended age range, or given more frequently than recommended, also result in unnecessary anxiety, treatment, and medical expenses, which outweigh the benefits for most women.[17]

Is There Any Way to Reduce These Costs?

The skyrocketing cost of cancer treatments has brought the issue to public attention, as politicians, doctors, and organizations speak out about ways that we can work together to reduce these costs   Dr. Howard Brody’s “Call to Action” in the New England Journal of Medicine challenged physicians to name five high-priced treatments that are commonly used in practice, but have not been shown to be highly effective in patients.  He pointed out that if physicians can exchange these practices for low-cost, more effective treatments, a small dent could be made in rising healthcare costs.[18] Two oncologists responded to Brody’s request with five ways to reduce costs for cancer treatments.  They include using imaging and tests only where benefits to patients have been shown, limiting chemotherapy for people that are very weak and would not benefit from this additional treatment, and a greater coordination of care.  Additionally, they suggest an increased focus on palliative care, which has been found to make patients more comfortable, have better health outcomes, and reduce the number of costly and often ineffective treatments tried during the patient’s final months.[19,20]

To combat the rising costs of medications and medical devices, the 2010 health care reform law encourages more comparative effectiveness research through the formation of a non-profit Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.[21] This institute will help ensure that new medical treatments are studied to determine if they are better or worse than ones already on the market.  Similarly, two researchers are proposing a new type of regulation called “reference pricing” to ensure that patients are getting more out of these new treatments.  Reference pricing would require that medical products paid for by Medicare be tested to compare them to similar products that are already on the market. The companies would have 3 years to prove that their new product is better than the ones already on the market. If tests do not show that the product is safer or more effective, it could not be sold at a higher price than the older products on the market.  While reference pricing is not required as part of the health care reform law, it could be used as a strategy under the law to encourage medical product manufacturers to finance comparative effectiveness research.[22]

Changing physician and pharmaceutical company practices might seem like a daunting task, but there are some small steps that you as an individual can do to help lower costs associated with cancer treatments.  It is important that you discuss your financial and medical situation with your doctor. Make sure that you fully understand your illness and make sure your doctor fully understands your financial situation.  In some cases, your doctor may be able to prescribe less expensive, but just as effective, drug treatments that could save you money.[23] Additionally, it is important to talk to your doctor about regular cancer screenings and your family’s history of certain cancers or diseases.  You might be in the target age-range or at risk for other reasons that meet the standards of some screenings, but not for others.  This will help to maximize the benefits you will receive from these health screenings and help to eliminate unnecessary costs or treatments.[24]

Patients deserve a high standard of quality of care. Fortunately, it is possible to lower costs while maintaining or even improving the quality of care. We can do this with unbiased research to determine which treatments are most effective and by creating regulatory methods to ensure that the cost of medications must reflect their effectiveness.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer and would like to learn about financial assistance options, please visit The National Cancer Institute (NCI) web site https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/managing-care/track-care-costs.  They offer a wide variety of resources to help with cancer treatment costs for those with and without health insurance.

References:

  1. National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS (2010) Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2009/2010 Update, Bethesda, MD, http://progressreport.cancer.gov.
  2. Mariotto AB, Yabroff KR, Shao Y, Feuer EJ, and Brown ML. (2011). Projections of the Cost of Cancer Care in the United States: 2010-2020., Journal of the National Cancer Institute 103(2). Retrieved from http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/103/2/NP.2.full
  3. USA Today/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health National Survey of Households Affected by Cancer. November 20, 2009.http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/pomr112006pkg.cfm. Accessed February 10, 2010
  4.  No Author, (2011) The costly war on cancer. The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/18743951
  5. Twombly, R. (2011). Avastin’s uncertain future in breast cancer treatment . Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 103(6), Retrieved from http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/103/6/458.full
  6. Ranpura, V, Hapani, S, and Wu, S. (2011). Treatment-related mortality with bevacizumab in cancer patients. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 305(5), Retrieved from http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/5/487.full
  7. Goozner, M. (2011) Health care reform: Prove it works and CMS will pay. The Fiscal Times. Retrieved from http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2010/10/05/Health-Care-Reform-CMS-Wants-Proof-to-Pay.aspx
  8. Elkin EB and Bach PB (2010). Cancer’s next frontier: Addressing high and increasing costs. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(24). Retrieved from http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/303/11/1086.short?home
  9. Jost, TS. (2010). Oversight of marketing relationships between physicians and the drug and device industry: a comparative study. American Journal of Law and Medicine, 36. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20726399
  10. Weight, CJ, Klien, EA, and Jones, JS. (2008). Androgen deprivation falls as orchiectomy rates rise after changes in reimbursement in the U.S. Medicare population. Cancer, 112(10), Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18393326
  11. Goozner, M. (2011) Health care reform: Prove it works and CMS will pay. The Fiscal Times. Retrieved from http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2010/10/05/Health-Care-Reform-CMS-Wants-Proof-to-Pay.aspx
  12. No Author, (2011) The costly war on cancer. The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/18743951
  13. Brody, H. (2009). Medicine’s ethical responsibility for health care reform – the top five list. New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from http://healthpolicyandreform.nejm.org/?p=2616
  14. American Society of Clinical Oncology (2011). Many elderly men are undergoing unnecessary PSA screenings, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 20, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2011/03/110328161848.htm
  15. Lee, JW, Berkowitz, Z, and Saraiya, M. (2011). Low-risk human papillomavirus testing and other nonrecommended human papillomavirus testing practices among U.S. health care providers. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 118(1), doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182210034
  16. Lee, JW, Berkowitz, Z, and Saraiya, M. (2011). Low-risk human papillomavirus testing and other nonrecommended human papillomavirus testing practices among U.S. health care providers. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 118(1), doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182210034
  17. Quanstrum, KH and Hayward, RA. (2010). Lessons from the mammography wars. New England Journal of Medicine, 363. Retrieved from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsb1002538
  18. Brody, H. (2009). Medicine’s ethical responsibility for health care reform – the top five list. New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from http://healthpolicyandreform.nejm.org/?p=2616
  19. Mariotto AB, Yabroff KR, Shao Y, Feuer EJ, and Brown ML. (2011). Projections of the Cost of Cancer Care in the United States: 2010-2020., Journal of the National Cancer Institute 103(2). Retrieved from http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/103/2/NP.2.full
  20. Smith TJ and Hillner BE. (2011). Bending the cost curve in cancer care. New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from http://healthpolicyandreform.nejm.org/?p=14541&query=home
  21. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2011, April 19). Summary of new health reform law. Retrieved from http://www.kff.org/healthreform/8061.cfm
  22. Goozner, M. (2011) Health care reform: Prove it works and CMS will pay. The Fiscal Times. Retrieved from http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2010/10/05/Health-Care-Reform-CMS-Wants-Proof-to-Pay.aspx
  23. Consumers Union of U.S. (2009, March). 10 ways to reduce your drug costs. Retrieved from http://www.consumerreports.org/health/prescription-drugs/10-ways-to-reduce-your-drug-costs/overview/10-ways-to-reduce-your-drug-costs.htm
  24. Quanstrum, KH, and Hayward, RA. (2010). Lessons from the mammography wars. New England Journal of Medicine, 363. Retrieved from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsb1002538