IOM releases cancer care workshop summary

The Institute of Medicine, a non-profit organization that provides unbiased, authoritative advice to government decision makers and the public, released its summary of a cancer care workshop on Monday.

A group of stakeholders made multiple recommendations during the workshop on October 8 and October 9 to improve the quality and affordability of cancer care. The recommendations included improving the evidence base for cancer care to include information on the effectiveness of technologies and interventions, BioCentury reports.

The workshop was held by the IOM's National Cancer Policy Forum to examine the current and projected drivers of cancer care costs, in addition to ways to reduce costs while maintaining quality.

Spending on health care accounts for approximately 18 percent of the Unites States' current GDP. By 2037, the percentage is expected to grow to 25 percent of GDP, a growth that may be unsustainable. Spending of cancer care in the U.S. is expected to grow because of the rapid influx of new cancer diagnoses as the population ages.

Stakeholders at the meeting recommended incorporating cost information into clinical practice guidelines, reducing the use of interventions with little value, employing more judicious use of expensive treatments, having tiered formularies for cancer drugs, improving the alignment of financial incentives with care by reimbursing clinicians for performance on quality measures and supporting coverage with evidence development programs.

The IOM plans to release a report related to the subject matter of the workshop later in 2013, BioCentury reports.