Breast Cancer: Value-Based Healthcare, Costs and Financing

Ana Harfouche, Silvia Silva, João Faria, Rui Araújo, António Gouveia, Maria Lacerda, Luís D'Orey


Introduction: Breast cancer is the second most common oncological disease worldwide. To analyse the new disease specific funding programme (breast cancer) implemented at the Francisco Gentil Portuguese Institute of Oncology, Lisbon Center (Instituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil), the actual costs of the patients were examined using activity-based costing as a costing methodology. This study addresses the following question: “How much does it cost to treat breast cancer per ‘patient-month’ compared to the monthly fixed ‘funding envelope’?”.
Materials and Methods: The study cohort consisted of 807 patients, corresponding to all the patients eligible for the new disease specific funding programme and who were enrolled during the first year of implementation. Activity-based costing was used to calculate the total real costs per stage of disease and per ‘patient-month’ as well as the deviation from the monthly fixed ‘funding envelope’.
Results: The total costs were 6.6 M€, whereas the total funding was 5.2 M€ for a total of 5648 ‘patient-months’. In 2014, the balance difference between the funding obtained and the actual costs was -1.4 €M for the cohort of 807 patients.
Discussion: The extreme cases of differences in cost per ‘patient-month’ compared to the monthly fixed ‘funding envelope’ were (i) stage 0/Tis, with higher funding at 415.23 € per ‘patient-month’, and (ii) stage IIIC, with lower funding at 1062.79 € per ‘patient-month’.
Conclusion: The ‘patient-month’ cost, regardless of disease stage was 1170.29 €. The median deviation per ‘patient-month’ was negative (241.21 €) compared to the monthly fixed ‘funding envelope’ of 929.08 € in the first year. Establishing activity-based costing - funding models will be crucial for the future sustainability of the healthcare sector.


Breast Neoplasms/economics; Cost-Benefit Analysis; Costs and Cost Analysis; Health Care Cost

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