Longitudinal patterns of cost and utilization of medicare beneficiaries with bladder cancer.
BACKGROUND: Bladder cancer (BC) is highly prevalent and costly. This study documented cost and use of services for BC care and for other (non-BC) care received over a 15-year follow-up period by a cohort of Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with BC in 1998. METHODS: Data came from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program linked to Medicare claims. Medicare claims provided data on diagnoses, services provided, and Medicare Parts A and B payments. Cost was actual Medicare payments to providers inflated to 2018 US$. Cost and utilization were BC-related if the claim contained a BC diagnosis code. Otherwise, costs were for "other care." For utilization, we grouped Part B-covered services into 6 mutually-exclusive categories. Utilization rates were ratios of the count of claims in a particular category during a follow-up year divided by the number of beneficiaries with BC surviving to year-end. RESULTS: Cumulatively over 15-years, for all stages combined, total BC-related cost per BC beneficiary was $42,011 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): $42,405-$43,417); other care cost was about twice this number. Cumulative total BC-related cost of 15-year BC survivors for all stages was $43,770 (CI: $39,068-$48,522), intensity of BC-related care was highest during the first year following BC diagnosis, falling substantially thereafter. After follow-up year 5, there were few statistically significant changes in BC-related utilization. Utilization of other care remained constant during follow-up or increased. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial costs were incurred for non-BC care. While increasing BC survivorship is an important objective, non-BC care would remain a burden to Medicare.
Sloan, FA; Yashkin, AP; Akushevich, I; Inman, BA
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