Department of Radiation Oncology
University of Toronto
Placement: Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Mentor: Meredith B. Rosenthal, Ph.D. (Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Health Economics and Policy, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
Co-mentor: Anna Sinaiko, M.P.P, Ph.D. (Research Scientist, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
Project: Controlling the Cost of Cancer: Promoting Value-Based Care
Danielle Rodin, M.D., M.P.H., FRCPC, is a 2017-2018 Canadian Harkness/CFHI Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. She recently completed her training in radiation oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Rodin has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers in the areas of health technology assessment and global health systems as they related to the field of oncology. She was a Commissioner for the Lancet Oncology Commission in 2015 and an Economics Consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2017. Within the agency’s Division of Human Health, Rodin’s work focused on the implementation and sustainability of radiotherapy programs in low-resource settings. While completing her Masters of Public Health in Qualitative Methods at Harvard University, Rodin helped launch the Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control (GTFRCC) and developed a scientific framework to establish the impact of enhanced access to radiotherapy on human welfare, labor productivity and national income. She received her medical degree from the University of Toronto.
Project Abstract: A wide range of options for cancer care are available to patients and providers in the United States and Canada, but the value of these services varies widely. Paying attention to these varied costs can diminish the use of expensive treatments that produce questionable benefit and minimize waste within the health care system. The purpose of this study is to identify new opportunities to introduce information about clinical outcomes and costs into health care practice. The focus on value-based decision-making aims to link spending to commensurate health benefits and this work aims to describe the utilization and overuse of oncology services targeted by the Choosing Wisely Campaign by analyzing population-based administrative claims databases in Ontario and in the United States. An analysis of the variation in treatment patterns and the costs of specific clinical care pathways for prostate cancer in the U.S. will also be conducted. Results will be used to inform the design of a decision-support intervention that will provide timely and meaningful cost and value information to support the decision-making process and reduce the use of low-value services in cancer care. Interventions of this kind have the potential to dramatically improve the efficiency of medical markets and facilitate access to high quality care for all cancer patients.