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Report: U.S. Cancer Care Is ‘in Crisis’

Experts cite growing demand, rising costs (September 10)

According to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), approximately 14 million people have had cancer in the U.S., and more than 1.6 million new cases are diagnosed each year. By 2022, it is projected that there will be 18 million cancer survivors and, by 2030, the cancer incidence is expected to rise to 2.3 million new diagnoses per year.

However, more than a decade after the IOM first studied the quality of cancer care, the barriers to achieving excellent care for all cancer patients remain daunting. Therefore, the IOM convened a committee of experts to examine the quality of cancer care in the U.S. and to formulate recommendations for improvement. Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis presents the committee’s findings and recommendations.

The committee concluded that the U.S. cancer care delivery system is in crisis because of a growing demand for cancer care, the increasing complexity of treatment, a shrinking workforce, and rising costs. Changes across the board are urgently needed to improve the quality of cancer care, the report says.

According to the IOM, all stakeholders — including cancer care teams, patients and their families, researchers, quality metrics developers, and payers, as well as Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), other federal agencies, and industries — must reevaluate their current roles and responsibilities in cancer care and work together to develop a higher quality cancer care delivery system.

Source: IOM; September 10, 2013.

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