USC health care study featured in presidential report
By Sadena Thevarajah
Research by the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics on the value of cancer care is featured in this year’s Economic Report of the President, which was released on March 15.
The report included findings from a Schaeffer Center analysis of health care spending by health economists Tomas Philipson of the University of Chicago; Dana Goldman, director of the Schaeffer Center; and Darius Lakdawalla, director of research at the Schaeffer Center, among others.
The study compared increases in life expectancy to increases in treatment costs for cancer patients in the United States versus the European Union. The researchers found that the improvement in life expectancy for cancer patients was much greater in the United States for the period studied, indicating that the higher U.S. spending in cancer care has been a good value.
The report relies on such research to consider measures of medical productivity and applies the findings to suggest that productivity growth in the U.S. health care sector has been enormous.
A previous study by Goldman was also highlighted in the report. The findings from his study that explored “U.S. Health Care: Facts About Costs, Access and Quality” questioned the medical value of enumerated surgical interventions. The report relied on the findings to suggest overuse of expensive medical technologies and identify sources of inefficiency in health care spending.
Goldman holds the Leonard D. Schaeffer Director’s Chair at USC and Lakdawalla holds the Quintiles Chair in Pharmaceutical Development and Regulatory Innovation at the USC School of Pharmacy. The faculty members have appointments at the USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC School of Pharmacy.
The Economic Report of the President reviews the progress of the ongoing economic recovery during 2012 and highlights the main goals of the chief executive’s economic agenda. It also highlights areas where economic data have improved or could improve even more. The Schaeffer Center study is featured in chapter 5, where the report focuses on reducing costs and improving the quality of health care.
The study about the value of cancer care was originally published in the April 2012 issue of Health Affairs and is one of the journal’s top-10 most read articles of that year.