News & Commentary
It now takes an average of 24 days to schedule a new patient physician appointment in 15 of the largest cities in the U.S. That’s up from 18.5 days in 2014, 20.5 days in 2009, and 21 days in 2004, the previous years when the Merritt Hawkins survey was conducted.

Amazon, which seems to be taking over everything, has set it sights on becoming a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). CNBC reports that the online retailer—you know, the site where you can buy practically anything—is exploring how to become a PBM. This is interesting.

Zachary Hafner

Zachary Hafner
Advisory Board

Building integrated cancer care programs is worth the effort. On the funding front, two key trends have particular relevance to the development: continued growth in the self-funded employer market, and booming expansion of Medicare Advantage. Both shift financial risk from traditional stakeholders to new ones.
MediMedia Poll
Cancer screening may have its skeptics, but respondents to a Managed Care reader poll are not among them. Colorectal, cervical, breast, prostate, and lung care cancer screening were rated as highly beneficial by the 168 respondents to the online survey, although prostate and lung cancer screening were viewed somewhat less favorably than the other three.

The war against high drug prices is being fought state by state, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some of the toughest legislation that would control drug prices has surfaced in state legislatures, and that has not gone unnoticed by the pharmaceutical industry.

Cancer 2017
Thomas Reinke

Kevin Fitzpatrick
CEO, CancerLinQ

RWE is a relatively new kid on the block. How exactly it will fit into the complicated world of cancer drug testing, approval, regulation, and marketing is uncertain. The randomized clinical trial has been the gold standard in oncology research for decades and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Joseph Burns
Insurers point to what they believe to be a paucity of solid evidence that the bevy of tests are useful for making treatment decisions. Also, if they wait a few years, then it’s Medicare’s problem. Meanwhile, men with prostate cancer must pay about $3,000 out of pocket for genetic tests.
The Screening Debate
Timothy Kelley

Sara E. Gorman

Screening advocates fear that skeptics are muddying the water, helping people rationalize skipping mammograms and other recommended tests and thus putting lives at risk. But screening boosters can take comfort in one thing that’s firmly on their side in the public debate: emotion.