Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
CAMBRIDGE, MA—A collaborative study by Abt Associates and Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy concerning cancer care by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) received editorial praise in the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), which also published the study results in an article entitled “Survival of Older Patients With Cancer in the Veterans Health Administration Versus Fee-for-Service Medicare.”
Calling the research team “top-notch,” Stephen B. Edge, M.D., F.A.C.S., chair of Breast and Soft Tissue Surgery, Department of Surgical Oncology and chair of the Health Services and Outcomes Research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute at the State University of New York, writes that the [researchers] present an “elegant study that demonstrates that survival from cancer for those treated in the VHA is the same or better than that for persons treated in the private sector.”
The VHA cancer care study, directed by Sam Bozeman, senior associate at Abt, in close collaboration with the Harvard research team led by Dr. Barbara McNeil, was conducted for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Earlier findings were published in the June 2011 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Based on data collected on men 65 and older diagnosed with colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer; lymphoma or multiple myeloma and treated in the VHA from 2001 to 2004, the study found that VHA’s cancer care for these men is comparable to, or better than cancer care provided to Medicare beneficiaries through the private sector. The newly-published results in JCO found that veterans treated for cancer in the VHA also had longer or equal survival times after a cancer diagnosis compared to the Medicare beneficiaries.
In his editorial, “True Patriotism: A Generation of Commitment to Quality in the Veterans Health Administration,” Dr. Edge notes that the “study highlights the difficulty and complexity of … comparative outcomes evaluation and provides key lessons to those of us looking to understand causal effects of cancer treatment in the field of outcomes and comparative effectiveness research.”
Dr. Edge concludes that this study “documents the real progress made by the VHA in improving the care and outcomes for American veterans.”
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.