Table 1.

Characteristics of selected data sources/research resources in the United States for estimating burden of cancer

DescriptionSEER-MedicareMEPSH-CUPMCBSCRN
SEER tumor registries linked to Medicare claimsNational household, medical provider, and insurance surveyInpatient discharge data from sampled hospitalsNational survey linked to Medicare claimsResearch centers in managed care organizations
Data characteristics
 National or nationally representativeGeographically definedGeographically defined
 Individual-level longitudinal data5 panels over 2 y
 Approximate number of cancer survivors in 2007>1,000,000<2,000>1,000,000<2,000>400,000
 Duration of informationMedicare eligibility through death2 yHospital admission through dischargeMultiple yearsEnrollment through disenrollment or death
 Health insurance typeMedicare fee-for-service onlyAll payorsAll payorsAll payorsManaged care only
Patients' information
 Age distributionAged 65+ or disabled (any age)Aged 18+All agesAged 65+ or disabled (any age)All ages
 Information about patients without cancerIn cancer registry regions
Cancer information
 Cancer diagnosisRegistry, procedure, or diagnosis codesSelf-report, procedure, or diagnosis codesProcedure or diagnosis codesSelf-report, procedure, or diagnosis codesRegistry, procedure, or diagnosis codes
 Stage at diagnosis
 TreatmentInpatient hospital only
Type of cost estimate
 Incidence
 Prevalence in a specific year
Direct medical cost components
 Hospital
 Physician and other outpatient services
 Outpatient pharmacyaa
 Out of pocket
Indirect cost components
 Productivity loss (e.g., days lost from work)
 Patient time
 Caregiver time

Abbreviations: SEER-Medicare, Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare; MEPS, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey; H-CUP, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project; MCBS, Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey; CRN, Cancer Research Network.

  • aData on Medicare part D prescription drug services are available starting in 2006. Before 2006, drugs administered parenterally and their administration was covered by Medicare part B, as were prodrugs, the oral drug equivalent of drugs administered parenterally.