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Dr David Eagle: Cost Sharing Doesn’t Work Well for Modern Oncology

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David A. Eagle, MD, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, discusses the present state of treatment for cancer, which often sees patient financial concerns outweighed by the cost of treatment.

David A. Eagle, MD, chair of legislative affairs and patient advocacy at New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, discusses the present state of treatment for cancer, which often sees patient financial concerns outweighed by the cost of treatment. In this interview from our recent Institute for Value-Based Medicine® meeting in New York City on February 8, he addresses potential legislative focus areas to make inroads in this conflict.

Transcript

Can you discuss some of the top legislative priorities that aim to avoid patient financial toxicity but that still consider payer needs and priorities?

I think that’s the heart of the question in modern oncology. We’re in the middle of this tension. We have just enormous advancing scientific progress, but that’s creating enormous financial pressures on the systems. Cancer patients want the best treatment that they can get, and they deserve that. We have an insurance system, unfortunately, that is built around a permanent care model of cost sharing, which just doesn’t work that well with modern oncology. There really aren’t a lot of substitute products, sometimes, for patients.

I think the other important question moving forward, in addition to the finances, is: Who makes the clinical decisions for the patients? I think, as the oncologists, we want to make those decisions for the patients. We know the patients, we kind of know their personal situation, but more and more I think it’s getting harder and harder for us to make sure we have all the clinical authority over what happens to the patients as well.

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