The Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, or HICOR, takes an innovative approach to improve the effectiveness of cancer prevention, treatment and therapy while stemming the high costs of cancer care.
HICOR Director Dr. Scott Ramsey and Co-Director Dr. Gary Lyman, both members in the Cancer Prevention Program in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch, lead a multidisciplinary team that works with multiple partners – patients, physicians and payers. HICOR bridges research and clinical practice to develop strategies for improving the quality of cancer patient care while bringing down the costs.
Cancer-care costs are projected to reach nearly $175 billion annually by 2020 and a growing portion of that price tag will be borne by patients. Studies show those diagnosed with cancer are more than twice as likely to declare bankruptcy due to skyrocketing costs of treatment and medication than those who are not. Yet, this higher spending doesn’t translate to increased life expectancy.
“It is because of the unsustainable rise in the costs of cancer care, including that related to drugs and aggressive and often unnecessary imaging procedures, that HICOR has taken on the charge,” said Lyman.