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The DCIS score: Potential for health care savings?
Background: The Oncotype Dx Recurrence Score for DCIS (DCIS Score) is a 12-gene assay derived from the original Oncotype DX test. The DCIS Score provides a local recurrence risk estimate at 10 years after lumpectomy for DCIS. Results can guide decisions regarding adjuvant radiation (RT). Foregoing RT can be a source of significant healthcare savings. We investigated the actual healthcare dollar savings to-date in our patients. Methods: We evaluated patients in whom the DCIS Score was ordered (x) and calculated total cost of testing. Potential cost of RT was that of IMRT as reimbursed by Medicare for a 16 fraction course, multiplied by x. Many of our patients with large breasts require IMRT for dose homogeneity and normal tissue parameters. We also calculated potential cost with 3D conformal (3D-CRT). Total potential cost was the sum of testing and treatment costs, determined for each modality. The number of patients ultimately treated (y) was also multiplied by these costs. Total actual cost was the sum of test expenses and actual treatment costs. Savings was the difference between total actual and total potential cost. Results: From 2/2012 to 5/ 2014 the DCIS Score was performed in 38 patients (x = 38). Median age was 66 (40 to 85). Grade was low in 39%, intermediate in 45%, and high in 16%. Fifty percent had necrosis and median size was 0.5 cm (0.1 to 3.1cm). The total cost of testing was $4125 * 38 = $156,750. IMRT reimburses at $23, 000 and 3D-CRT at $11,000. Potential total cost of RT ranged from $418,000 to $874, 000; testing brought total potential costs to $574, 750 to $1,030, 750. Upon receipt of test results, 12 (y) patients ultimately underwent therapy. IMRT was given in 11 patients and 3D-CRT in 1, for a total treatment cost of $264, 000. Therefore, total actual expenditures were $420, 750. Savings amounted to (574, 750 – 420, 750) = $154, 000 to (1,030, 750 – 420, 750) = $610, 000. Conclusions: In the era of rising healthcare costs, it is imperative to examine instances of possible overtreatment. The DCIS Score has the potential to save not only healthcare dollars, but to spare patients radiation side effects, time lost from work, and transportation expenses. While there are costs associated with the assay, if ordered judiciously, these can be offset by the subsequent savings from eliminating treatment.
Abstracts by Rebekah Young:
- Meeting: 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium | Abstract No: 93