New Poll Finds Substantial Opposition to Medicare Adopting Utilization Management Techniques for Cancer Treatment

Hart Research partnered with Public Opinion Strategies on a new survey on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) to gauge the attitudes of cancer patients, caregivers, and physicians toward so-called utilization management (UM) techniques—tools used by insurance companies that aim to reduce healthcare costs by setting parameters on how and when doctors can prescribe certain types of drugs. At present, prescription medications to treat cancer are among the “protected classes” of drugs that Medicare does not subject to UM techniques, but there is a proposal to change that.  We asked cancer patients, caregivers, and physicians to tell us about their experiences with UM techniques and how they would react to Medicare applying them to cancer drugs.  We found overwhelming opposition to this change, and predictions by each audience that UM techniques would result in delays in patients’ care, higher out-of-pocket costs for patients, degraded access to cutting-edge therapies, and reduced authority for doctors to provide the best care to their patients, among other negative outcomes.

You can read about the survey’s results in greater detail here.