KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Cancer Doctors Push For Payment Changes

Also, some health companies are trying to improve patient outcomes by using predictive software to deliver care more efficiently, and a company lost another court decision to patent a genetic test.

Reuters: U.S. Cancer Doctors Urge Payment Fix As Cases Set To Rise 
U.S. cancer doctors are worried about their ability to handle an expected surge in cancer cases in the coming years as they face cuts to government health plans and efforts to reduce payments to physicians. The influential American Society of Clinical Oncology, in a report released on Tuesday, cited estimates that cancer will become the leading killer in the United States by 2030 as the population ages, while treatment costs reach new heights (3/11).

Marketplace: Health Companies Eye Predictive Software For Patient Care
Pharmacy giant Walgreens recently announced it has begun using predictive software to help guide patient treatment.  It’s just one of the latest efforts where health care hopes to standardize day-to-day operations. With estimates that hundreds of billions of dollars is wasted every year on redundant or inefficient services, many industry leaders think healthcare needs to be more like Burger King, where a sandwich in Santa Fe tastes a lot like the sandwich in Seattle. For some the path to slowing health costs may mean medical care has to look more like factory work (Gorenstein, 3/11).

The New York Times: Patentholder On Breast Cancer Tests Denied Injunction In Lawsuit
Myriad Genetics, which lost a closely watched Supreme Court case last year involving the patenting of genes, has suffered another setback in its efforts to protect its main genetic test from competition (Pollack, 3/10).

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