Science Daily November 3, 2010
When Medicare policy changes led to reductions in reimbursement for hormonal treatment of prostate cancer, there was a sharp decline in its use among patients not likely to benefit from the treatment. But among patients for whom the therapy is clearly beneficial, doctors continued to prescribe it at the same rate, according to a new study. The researchers looked at data from 54,925 men treated for prostate cancer from 2003 to 2005, using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare database, a large population-based registry. “SEER-Medicare has all the detailed cancer and treatment data we needed to categorize these patients, and it gave us a very good picture of the response to this change in Medicare reimbursement,” said study author Yong-Fang Kuo, an associate professor at UTMB Health.