Cover: Promoting Efficiency and Quality of Care in the Hummer Health Care System

Promoting Efficiency and Quality of Care in the Hummer Health Care System

Published In: Journal of Clinical Oncology, v. 26, no. 35, Dec. 2008, p. 5664-5665

Posted on rand.org 2008

by Karl Lorenz

Cancer care cost taxpayers in the United States approximately $72 billion in 2004, and the majority of dollars were expended for patients with advanced disease and for the care of patients during their last year of life. Particularly when patients are living with advanced or progressive disease, we should expect that care succeeds in improving quality as well as quantity of life. The difficulties faced by patients and their families living with cancer are substantial and well documented, and it is surprising that we lack evidence of having made headway in the health care system against such pervasive and distressing problems as cancer pain. Meanwhile, increasing fiscal constraints in the United States make a laissez-faire attitude about inefficient care more and more unsustainable. As with our unsustainable thirst for oil, the chances grow that we will have to face the health care-Hummer facts.

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