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New approach to administrative medical decision-making: evidence-based medicine using high dose chemotherapy/bone marrow transplant for breast cancer



New approach to administrative medical decision-making: evidence-based medicine using high dose chemotherapy/bone marrow transplant for breast cancer



Southern Medical Journal 91(2): 196-201



Background. Payment for experimental treatments using medical necessity criteria has been controversial. The process of obtaining a decision on coverage of an experimental treatment can be distressful for the treating physician, the patient, and family members. Method. The techniques of evidence-based medicine were used to assist with treatment/coverage decisions concerning high dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow transplants (HDC/ABMT) for invasive breast cancer. Results. We reviewed the literature, finding minimal evidence for effectiveness of HDC/ABMT for invasive breast cancer; therefore, it is our opinion that it remains an experimental therapy. Its cost utility is likely to be low (approximately dollar sign100,000 per additional quality year gained). Numerous patients have been treated with HDC/ABMT outside of clinical trials, impeding scientific analysis of the treatment's effectiveness. Conclusion. Data-based policies and procedures for funding experimental medical treatments need to be developed to eventually replace the medical necessity criteria.

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Accession: 009090595

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PMID: 9496875


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