Bill promotes standardized cancer care

A new bill has been filed in the House which would create a standardized template for cancer care--and see to it that physicians were paid to develop more comprehensive plans. The bill, which is sponsored by Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA) and Tom Davis (R-VA), would lay the foundation for a coordinated system of cancer care, particularly at the post-treatment stage. Right now, cancer patients typically lack a treatment summary and written care plan offering input on follow-up exams and symptoms to watch for in fighting off relapses. These plans may not get developed because physicians aren't paid to spend time on creating them, observers note. The bill would not only systematize the creation of such summaries and plans, but would also see to it that Medicare paid oncologists extra for developing them. The American Society of Clinical Oncology has already created a template for colon cancer care, and plans to use it as a prototype for developing approaches for managing other types of cancer.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this United Press International article

ALSO: A growing number of prominent scientists are raising serious criticisms about the government's $1.5 billion Cancer Genome Atlas, calling it a waste of money at a time when federal funding for science is facing a critical challenge. Report