by Dr. Daniel Roney

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it is hard to imagine that there are very many who are not aware of it. Almost everyone has either direct experience with breast cancer, or somebody close to them has been affected. Over the course of their lives, one out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Those who have either a mother or sister with breast cancer are at even higher risk.

Now for the good news. Improvements are being made in the available treatments for breast cancer. As a result, survival rates give us reason for optimism. The chances of surviving 5 years after diagnosis of invasive breast cancer is 90%. The average 10-year survival is 83%. If the cancer is confined to the breast, 5-year survival is 99%.

You may have seen notices in our office informing you about our participation in a program called Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC Plus). We thought it would be good to explain this program and what impact this has on you as one of our patients.

The medical industry is undergoing changes in reimbursement to provide improved quality of care while controlling cost. For many years, the model for paying health care providers was fee-for-service, where the provider was paid when the patient was seen. While there is still an element of this, there is a shift toward what is referred to as value-based reimbursement. Under this model, providers are reimbursed on the quality of care that is provided. This measures quality parameters such as how well our diabetic patients are controlled, how many of our patients have gotten colon cancer screening or mammograms, and how well we do at keeping our patients out of the hospital, just to name a few.