The Effect of Managed Care on Treatment Patterns and Health Outcomes Among Traditional Medicare Patients

What is the relationship between managed care activity and the costs, specific treatment patterns, and health outcomes for cancer patients covered by traditional, fee-for-service Medicare? Using a combined Medicare/SEER (cancer tumor registry) database, investigators at Stanford University examined the relationships between market characteristics (including degree to which managed care has taken over the market) and treatment and costs for Medicare fee-for-service cancer patients. The objective of the study was to examine the relationships between different measures of managed care penetration and outcomes (cost, utilization and survival) for cancer patients not enrolled in managed care: in other words, whether managed care has had "spillover" effects in market areas that affect (Medicare) fee-for-service cancer patients.