Older patients’ survival rates with blood cancers continues to improve as more effective and fewer toxic therapies are introduced, according to a press release.
However, these lifesaving treatments often are expensive, and many cancer patients face financial burdens caused by ever-increasing healthcare costs.
Research found in a recent study conducted by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) reveals 59% of surviving blood cancer patients enrolled in traditional Medicare do not begin active treatment within three months of their diagnosis.
There are many factors likely to contribute to these delays, however, the LLS believes high costs could be a key driving factor in these patients’ behavior.
The study “The Cost Burden of Blood Cancer Care in Medicare,” conducted by LLS from Milliman, an independent and national law firm, identifies factors driving costs to the healthcare system and impacting patients. It also expands more on the out-of-pocket cost burden associated with cancer treatment for blood cancer patients.
According to Brian Connell, executive director of federal affairs at LLS, these costs vary depending on factors such as blood cancer type, demographics, selected treatments as well as insurance coverage and benefit design. This analysis focused on understanding the impact of these factors and the drivers of health care costs for newly diagnosed
“In addition to the emotional impact of dealing with a blood cancer, patients and families often face extraordinary costs in the first year after diagnosis and beyond,” says Louis J. DeGennaro, PhD, CEO and president of LLS. “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hopes that the findings from this new study will prompt payers, providers, patient advocates and policymakers to work together to address the financial burdens for patients.”