A study on the status quo and variation of medical cost for chemotherapy patients
in three university hospitals.
-Focusing on Taxol chemotherapy patients-
LEE MI YOUNG
Supervising Professor : Yoon Seok Jun
Department of Health Policy and Hospital Management
Graduate School of Public Health, Korea University
In recent times cancer has ranked as the number one cause of decease in Korea and its occurrence rate also has been on an increasing trend. Since 2000 the development of new high price anti-cancer medicines, which amount to tens of million won has been increasing. Consequently it is expected that the cost of medicine, which accounts for the largest proportion in the total cost of chemotherapy, will increase rapidly. A variety of chemotherapy - hundreds kinds of anti-cancer therapies are being carried out lately- has made the medical variation more crucial compared with other diseases.
It can be pointed out, however, that there has not been sufficient studies on the cost of chemotherapy and anti-cancer medicines and the response to its therapy among the domestic research involving cancer so far. In accordance with such a background this study aims at presenting the basic data for effective and economic chemotherapy in medical institutions and public health care policy. It is also expected that this study will be able to be used as the basic data for the introducing the private medical care insurance.
For this purpose, this study analyzed the status quo and variation of medical cost focusing on Taxol chemotherapy patients, which is most frequently prescribed and has comprehensive indication for the use of the medicine, based on the recent two years' data. When chemotherapy is standardized with Taxol chemotherapy, the variation factors of medical cost such as the kind of cancer, medical institutes, cancer stage, and the cost depending on the response of the therapy are analyzed by several kinds of statistic methods.
According to the results of the study, although the same anti-cancer medicines were used, there were differences of medical cost depending on the kind of cancer and medical institutions. In other words, medical cost was variated by the attribute of medical service suppliers. The analysis of the medical cost depending on the reaction of therapy for each kind of cancer showed that when the response of therapy was good, the medical cost was relatively low, whereas when the response of therapy was negative, the medical cost was high. This seems to result from the different starting time of therapy and the seriousness of the patients.
Chemotherapy is an emergent situation for the patients, therefore, it should be an effective and economic therapy. And regarding the different medical cost of each medical institution despite using the same anti-cancer medicines, the standard indication to chemotherapy should be enacted and be utilized with the establishment of the public health care policy.
key words : medical cost, chemotherapy, variation, response, taxol, anti-cancer medicines