The National Program of Cancer Registries: Explaining State Variations in Average Cost per Case Reported
Published Date:Jun 15 2005
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2005; 2(3).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Program of Cancer Registries is a federally funded surveillance program that provides support and assistance to state and territorial health departments for the operation of cancer registries. The objective of this study was to identify factors associated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's costs to report cancer cases during the first 5 years of the National Program of Cancer Registries.
Information on expenditures and number of cases reported through the National Program of Cancer Registries was used to estimate the average cost per case reported for each state program. Additional information was obtained from other sources, and regression analyses were used to assess the contribution of each factor.
Average costs of the National Program of Cancer Registries differed substantially among programs and were inversely associated with the number of cases reported (P < .001). The geographic area of the state was positively associated with the cost (P = .01), as was the regional cost of living (P = .08), whereas the program type (i.e., enhancement or planning) was inversely associated with cost (P = .08).
The apparent existence of economies of scale suggests that contiguous state programs might benefit from sharing infrastructure and other fixed costs, such as database management resources, depending on the geographic area and population size served. Sharing database management resources might also promote uniform data collection and quality control practices, reduce the information-sharing burden among states, and allow more resources to be used for other cancer prevention and control activities.
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