Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
WSJ Investigation: A Sharp Rise In Specific Prostate Therapy Parallels High Medicare Payments
The Wall Street Journal: "Roughly one in three Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with prostate cancer today gets a sophisticated form of radiation therapy called IMRT. The story behind the sharp rise in the use of IMRT - which stands for intensity-modulated radiation therapy - is about more than just the rapid adoption of a new medical technology. It's also about financial incentives. Critics, including some independent radiation oncologists who are losing business, say the urology groups steer many patients toward IMRT for financial gain, drawn by Medicare payments that can reach $40,000 per patient, depending on the state. The urology groups deny this," saying the trend is driven by patient demand (Carreyrou and Tamman, 12/7). A separate article explains the methodology behind the Journal's investigation (12/8).
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