Anthem Blue Cross: Breast Cancer Screenings

Introduction

Anthem Blue Cross (ABC) is a business enterprise, the primary objective of work for which is providing insurance to its clients. The organization has many branches across the US, with a variety of healthcare programs available to customers. The proposed initiative focuses on offering a new economic opportunity for the headquarters of ABC in Indiana. This paper aims to present a detailed economic report regarding the implementation of breast cancer screenings that ABC will provide free of charge. Strategies for mitigating risks and maximizing financial benefits are recommended.

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Opportunities

The environmental analysis performed for this report has indicated that there is a large number of people that can be potentially interested in this initiative. The estimation has shown that there are over 300,000 people in Indiana (United States Census Bureau, 2017).

Those are women older than eighteen who may be interested in the test. ABC can use the free of charge breast cancer screening initiative to raise awareness regarding the problem and acquire prospective clients for its insurance services.

Additionally, according to Blumen, Fitch, and Polkus (2016), a more advanced stage breast cancer is associated with higher costs of treatment. The economic opportunity of the initiative is in the ability to save costs on insurance payments for women who were diagnosed with breast cancer early. In addition, according to Kakushadze, Raghubanshi, and Yu (2017), “survival rates improve dramatically when cancer is diagnosed” (p.30). Thus, the initiative presents an ethical approach to resolving the issue of late diagnosis and associated costs.

Risks Associated with the Economic Initiative and Ways to Address Them

From the economic standpoint of view, the objective of breast cancer screenings is to diagnose the condition in its early stages to reduce insurance payments associated with late treatments. Due to this fact, the initiative can focus on encouraging women older than 50 years old to participate in the procedure. This age frame can help reduce the number of prospective patients while targeting a population that is at high risk of developing the condition.

ABC should ensure that benefit and harm principle is applied to the breast cancer screenings due to over-diagnosing. According to Houssami (2017), it is an issue with breast cancer screenings and can mitigate the economic benefit of the procedure. This problem occurs because some cancers would not be found without such initiatives, as they present no symptoms and do not affect the patient’s life. Such cases would usually be treated using standard methods. When comparing potential opportunities to risks, it can be argued that costs associated with treating cancer in late stages would be less significant than launching an initiative.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Considering the mentioned risks, cost and benefit analysis was performed for ABC. The values of screening were compared to the long-term treatment of breast cancer were considered. The identified benefit, in this case, is the amount of money ABC would be able to save in insurance payments due to early diagnostics. According to the American Cancer Society (n.d.), treatment plans for breast cancer consist of several components.

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Those are visits to a healthcare provider, required tests, visits associated with medications, radiation treatment, imaging tests, hospital stay, surgery price, and home care. The associated cost per procedure is calculated based on the stage of cancer and treatment plan, chosen by a doctor.

Stasticilal data regarding accumulated costs of treatment was used to analyze the costs. Kakushadze et al. (2017) provided information regarding per-patient costs associated with breast cancer treatment in different stages. Early-stage breast cancer treatment can cost approximately $60,637 within a twelve-month period. In comparison, the treatment of breast cancer in the fourth stage would be estimated at $134,687 for the same period.

In addition, it can be hypothesized that the price of services will increase by 7,6%, which is an average annual increase for Indiana (“Average annual percent growth in health care, n.d.) The presented information is relevant because it offers a calculation of all aspects comprising breast cancer treatment. Thus, the benefit the company would receive per case significantly outweighs the costs. The appendix presents a table with cost and benefits analysis for ABC. The establishment will use its current infrastructure; thus, no capital investment will be needed.

Furthermore, the cost per procedure has to be part of the analysis. Ekwueme et al. (2014) state that the average price per screening is estimated at $101 for an office visit per woman. Statistics regarding breast cancer detection would help identify the percentage of people that would be diagnosed and would require treatment. Previous research indicated that one in eight women could develop the condition, which can be used as primary data for the cost-benefit analysis (American Cancer Society, n.d.).

The benefits of the initiative are estimated at $310,014. Knowledge gaps include the average period of treatment per patient and marketing expenses, which would provide insight into the annual spending for the company. With this information, the company would be able to determine the average number of people who go through screening procedures and are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Options for Controlling Costs and Maximizing Benefits

A crucial aspect of this project is the ability of ABC’s executives to control costs and maximize benefits. Due to the fact that the initiative will take place once a year, the management of ABC would have to determine the number of people that can be screened through the procedure. Identifying a specific number of patients is curial to ensure that ABC does not overspend on breast cancer screenings. ABC can partner with other organizations, governmental or non-profit, to divide the cost.

For instance, the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Plate (2018) states that their organization has given over $425,000 to establishments that help raise awareness of the issue. ABC can collaborate with the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Plate to mitigate investment risks and bring down the cost of breast cancer screening for the initiative. To ensure that any adjustments to the cost and benefit analysis are ethical, ABC should prioritize an individual’s interest and inform both medical personnel and patients about possible over diagnosing.

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Conclusion

Overall, the proposed economic initiative can help ABC save money through the early treatment of cancer. The research presented in the paper indicates that the treatment of early-stage breast cancer is less expensive when compared to more advanced stages. Thus, through the initiative, ABC would be able to reduce the number of insurance payments for advanced breast cancer treatments. The economic data that was used in the analyses were taken from scholarly journals and presented a calculation of average insurance payment for breast cancer treatments.

Appendix

Cost-Benefit Analysis for ABC (created by the author).

Costs Current Year CY($) CY + 1 ($) CY + 2 ($) CY + 3 ($) CY + 4 ($) CY + 5 ($) Total Costs
Operating Costs
Price of mammogram per 8 patients 880 946.88 1018.84 1096.27 1179.58
Total Cost (Future Value) 880 946 1018.88 1096.27 1179.58
Total Cost (Present Value) 792,79 767,79 744,35 721,97 699,68 3726.59
Benefits Current Year CY($) CY + 1 ($) CY + 2 ($) CY + 3 ($) CY + 4 ($) CY + 5 ($)
Costs Saved on Insurance Payments (Per Patient) 74,050 79,677 85,733 92,249 99,259
Total Benefits (Future Value) 74,050 79,677 85,733 92,249 99,259
Total Benefits (Present Value) 66,711 64,668 62,687 60,767 58,905 313,740
Present Value Discount rate 0.11
PV Denominator 1 1.11 1.23 1.37 1.52 1.69
Net Benefit 310,014

References

Average annual percent growth in health care expenditures by state of provider. (n.d.). Web.

American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Managing the costs of your cancer treatment. Web.

Blumen, H., Fitch, K., & Polkus, V. (2016). Comparison of treatment costs for breast cancer, by tumor stage and type of service. American Health & Drug Benefits, 9(1), 23-32.

Ekwueme, D. U., Subramanian, S., Trogdon, J. G., Miller, J. W., Royalty, J. E., Li, C., … Gardner, J. G. (2014). Cost of services provided by the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Cancer, 120(16), 2604-11.

Houssami, N. (2017). Overdiagnosis of breast cancer in population screening: Does it make breast screening worthless? Cancer Biology & Medicine, 14(1), 1-8.

Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Plate. (2018). Services programs. Web.

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Kakushadze, Z., Raghubanshi, R., & Yu, W. (2017). Estimating cost savings from early cancer diagnosis. Data, 2(3), 30. Web.

United States Census Bureau. (2017). Quick facts: Indianapolis city (balance), Indiana; Indiana. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 30). Anthem Blue Cross: Breast Cancer Screenings. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/anthem-blue-cross-breast-cancer-screenings/

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"Anthem Blue Cross: Breast Cancer Screenings." StudyCorgi, 30 Dec. 2020, studycorgi.com/anthem-blue-cross-breast-cancer-screenings/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Anthem Blue Cross: Breast Cancer Screenings." December 30, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/anthem-blue-cross-breast-cancer-screenings/.


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StudyCorgi. "Anthem Blue Cross: Breast Cancer Screenings." December 30, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/anthem-blue-cross-breast-cancer-screenings/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Anthem Blue Cross: Breast Cancer Screenings." December 30, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/anthem-blue-cross-breast-cancer-screenings/.

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