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Medicare Spending for Breast, Prostate, Lung, and Colorectal Cancer Patients in the Year of Diagnosis and Year of Death

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Health Services Research

Published online on


Objective To characterize spending patterns for Medicare patients with incident breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer. Data Sources/Study Setting/Study Design 2007–2012 data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program linked with Medicare fee‐for‐service claims. Data Collection/Extraction Methods We calculate per‐patient monthly and yearly mean and median expenditures, by cancer type, stage at diagnosis, and spending category, over the years of diagnosis and death. Principal Findings Over the year of diagnosis, mean spending was $35,849, $26,295, $55,597, and $63,063 for breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer, respectively. Over the year of death, spending was similar across different cancer types and stage at diagnosis. Conclusions Characterization of Medicare spending according to clinically meaningful categories may assist development of oncology alternative payment models and cost‐effectiveness models.