COTA Presents on Financial Burdens Affecting Cancer Patients at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting

Leading Health Care Informatics Company's Recent Study With Advanced Cancer Patients Finds 40 Percent Are Worried About Costs of Care, More Than Those Worried About Cancer Pain

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jun 6, 2016) - COTA Inc., a health care informatics and precision analytics company, will present findings of a study that highlights the financial burdens of cancer care at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on June 6 in Chicago (abstract 10065). In this study with advanced cancer patients throughout New Jersey, 40 percent expressed concern regarding the costs of their health care treatment -- a percentage significantly higher than those who were concerned about their cancer-related pain. 

"Although we commonly think of toxicities related to cancer treatments as being nausea and hair loss, financial toxicity -- that is, the high costs of care directly hurting the patient -- has emerged as a major obstacle," said Eric Schultz, CEO of COTA. "And our team's study demonstrates a real need to find value in our health care decisions, so that we can lessen the burdens placed on cancer patients. At COTA we've made it our commitment to improve patients' lives and outcomes while reducing the wasteful spend of inappropriate care by making the best care clear."

Dhakshila Paramanathan, data scientist at COTA and the study's lead investigator, commented that young cancer patients appear particularly concerned about financial toxicity.

"More than 80 percent of advanced cancer patients in their 30s were worried about the cost of their treatment, compared to 24 percent of patients in their 80s," she said. "The high costs associated with cancer care result in less money for family support or for inheritances, both of which are critical to younger cancer patients with families."

More than 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are related to health care costs, and cancer patients are twice as likely to be affected by bankruptcy as compared to the general population. According to COTA's study, patients living in less affluent neighborhoods and those who are covered by Medicaid insurance -- as opposed to commercial insurance or Medicare -- appear to be more concerned about the costs associated with their cancer care. However, according to the study, half of the middle-class patients also feel the financial strains accompanying a cancer diagnosis. 

For this study COTA utilized its proprietary seven-item patient-reported outcome (PRO) instrument to assess distress in common personhood domains (performance status, pain, burden and depression). The validated instrument has also been used to identify advanced cancer patients who may be appropriate for palliative care/hospice consultations, potentially re-aligning treatment goals and reducing unwanted, expensive, technology-driven end-of-life care. 

"We have learned about great advances in cancer care at the ASCO national meeting, but many of the new treatments come with exorbitant price tags," said Dr. Stuart Goldberg, chief medical officer at COTA and the study's senior author. "We need to be able to match the right patient with the right therapy so we don't waste our health care dollars. Through the smarter use of data -- precision analytics guided by our COTA Nodal Address classification system -- we are working to reduce the financial toxicities of cancer care that are distressing our patients."

For more information on COTA and how it is reshaping health care and making the best care clear, visit

About COTA, Inc.
COTA is the health care informatics and precision analytics company that builds research-grade, real-world data to exponentially improve outcomes, reduce cost and ensure the right care for the right patient every time. The patented COTA Nodal Address System (CNA) is the first and only digital classification system that transforms prognostically significant variables into a digital code -- precisely categorizing patient factors, their diseases and intended therapies to measure treatment outcomes, identify variances in care and enable quality benchmarking, research, discovery and the transition to value-based medicine. For more information, please visit COTA -- Best Care Made Clear.™

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