Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pain Research / 21.06.2019 Interview with: Changchuan (Charles) Jiang MD, MPH MSSLW Internal Medicine Residency Program Class of 2020 Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai What is the background for this study? Response: Chronic pain is one of the common side effects of cancer treatments and it has been linked to low life quality, lower adherence to treatment, higher medical cost. As the population of cancer survivors grows rapidly, chronic pain will be a major public health issue in this population. We know from previous studies that chronic pain is common in certain cancers such as breast cancer. However, little was known about the epidemiology of chronic pain in the cancer survivors until our study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Health Care Systems, JAMA / 05.12.2017 Interview with: Allison Kratka MD Candidate 2018 Duke University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? Response: As there are increasing numbers of high-deductible plans and those with high rates of co-insurance, patients are increasingly expected to help contain the cost of their health care by being savvy health care consumers. We set out to determine how easy or hard it is to find healthcare prices online. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care / 24.06.2017 Interview with: Nitin Mehta PhD Associate Professor in Marketing Rotman School What is the background for this study? Response: The focus of this paper is an investigation of the increase in health care costs associated with chronic disease in the context of consumers enrolled in employer sponsored insurance plans. Chronic illnesses – including conditions such as heart disease, cancer, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and kidney disease – account for nearly 75 percent of health care expenditures in the U.S. Treatments vary widely in terms of cost and impact: expensive “frontier” treatments provide the best outcome for only the seriously ill, while cheaper, established treatments prove effective for most other patients. As an example, the annual cost to an insurer for “biologics” – novel genetically modified protein drugs – is upwards of $20,000, while the more established drug – methotrexate – costs only $1,000 a year. We investigate whether a part of the increase in healthcare costs stems from consumers opting for the more expensive treatments even when the lesser expensive treatments may have worked well. To do so, we examined data from a health insurer in the United States on the insurance plan and treatment options for 3,000 chronically ill patients over a three year period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care / 08.08.2016 Interview with: Sarah C. Markt, ScD, MPH Research Associate Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health | Department of Epidemiology Boston, MA 02115 What is the background for this study? Response: Age is associated with insurance status, with the greatest proportion of uninsured between the ages of 20 to 34 years. For testicular cancer this is important because the median age of diagnosis is 33 years and the majority of the cases are diagnosed between then ages of 20 and 44 years. Previous studies have shown that people with cancer who are uninsured are more likely to present with worse disease, less likely to receive treatment, and are more likely to die of their disease, compared with those who have private insurance. Furthermore, the associations between Medicaid coverage and cancer outcomes have been conflicting. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.05.2016 Interview with: Benjamin D. Sommers, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Economics Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health / Brigham & Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115  Molly E. Frean Data Analyst Department of Health Policy and Management Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 What is the background for this study? Dr. Sommers: We conducted this study in an effort to see how Native Americans have fared under the Affordable Care Act. In addition to the law's expansion of coverage via Medicaid and tax credits for the health insurance marketplaces, the law also provided support for Native Americans’ health care specifically through continued funding of the Indian Health Service (IHS). We sought to see how both health insurance coverage patterns and IHS use changed in the first year of the law's implementation. (more…)