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Bennett CL , Stinson TJ , Vogel V , Robertson L , Leedy D , O'Brien P , Hobbs J , Sutton T , Ruckdeschel JC , Chirikos TN , Weiner RS , Ramsey MM , Wicha MS
Evaluating the financial impact of clinical trials in oncology: Results from a pilot study from the association of American Cancer Institutes/Northwestern University Clinical Trials Costs and Charges Project
Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2000 Aug;18(15) :2805-2810
PMID: ISI:000088520800003   
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Purpose: Medical care for clinical trials is often not reimbursed by insurers, primarily because of concern that medical care as part of clinical trials is expensive and not part of standard medical practice, In June 2000, President Clinton ordered Medicare to reimburse for medical care expenses incurred as part of cancer clinical trials, although many private insurers are concerned about the expense of this effort. To inform this policy debate, the costs and charges of care for patients on clinical trials are being evaluated. In this Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) Clinical Trials Costs and Charges pilot study, we describe the results and operational considerations of one of the first completed multisite economic analyses of clinical trials. Methods: Our pilot effort included assessment of total direct medical charges for 6 months of care for 35 case patients who received care on phase II clinical trials and for 35 matched controls (based on age, sex, disease, stage, and treatment period) at five AACI member cancer centers. Charge data were obtained for hospital and ancillary services from automated claims files at individual study institutions. The analyses were based on the perspective of a third-party payer. Results: The mean age of the phase II clinical trial patients was 58.3 years versus 57.3 years for control patients. The study population included persons with cancer of the breast (n = 24), lung (n = 18), colon (n = 16), prostate (n = 4), and lymphoma (n = 8). The ratio of male-to-female patients was 3:4, with greater than 75% of patients having stage III to IV disease. Total mean charges for treatment from the time of study enrollment through 6 months were similar: $57,542 for clinical trial patients and $63,721 for control patients (1998 US$; P = .4). Conclusion: Multisite economic analyses of oncology clinical trials are in progress. Strategies that are not likely to overburden delta managers and clinicians are possible to devise. However, these studies require careful planning and coordination among cancer center directors, finance department personnel, economists, and health services researchers. J Clin Oncol 18:2805-2810. (C) 2000 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Times Cited: 7 English Article 340EU J CLIN ONCOL