If this poll is accurate, it’s no wonder that American healthcare costs are out of control
Peter Ubel’s survey of 1379 American oncologists produced some eye-finding findings:
On average, the responses implied that oncologists were willing to prescribe treatments that cost $245,972 per quality-adjusted life-year . . . in life-prolonging situations v. only $119,082 per QALY . . . for treatments that improve quality of life but do not prolong survival . . . .
This difference did not depend on age, gender, percentage of time in clinical work, or self-reported preparedness to use and interpret cost-effectiveness information. . . .
This difference suggests that oncologists value length of survival more highly than quality of life when making chemotherapy decisions.
© 2011 Michael A. Kozminski, Peter J. Neumann, Eric S. Nadler, Aleksandra Jankovic, and Peter A. Ubel, How Long and How Well: Oncologists’ Attitudes Toward the Relative Value of Life-Prolonging v. Quality of Life-Enhancing Treatments, Medical Decision Making 31(3): 38-385 (May/June 2011) (paragraph split)
Where’s Hippocrates in all this?
“So kids, my oncologist wants me to burden you with debt that will ruin your lives, while I suffer miserably until I croak.”
What’s good for the money-oriented medical establishment is good for us all.