Milwaukee’s Medical College of Wisconsin has received a four-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to investigate the comparative effectiveness of two strategies aimed at reducing the use of ineffective or unproven breast cancer care.

Researchers will compare the effectiveness of basic public reporting to that of an enhanced system of reporting which incorporates the use of a smartphone/web-based application. The app functions as a tool aimed at reducing the use of breast cancer treatments recognized as unnecessary by the Choosing Wisely campaign and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The effectiveness of both strategies will also be compared to usual care provided by physicians not exposed to either reporting system.

Ann Nattinger, M.D., the Lady Riders’ Breast Cancer Research Professor, chief of general internal medicine, and director of MCW's Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research, and Liliana Pezzin, professor of general internal medicine and a member of PCOR, are the primary investigators of the grant.

"The study represents an unprecedented opportunity to examine the impact of two innovative tools that hold great promise for addressing the documented overuse of ineffective or unproven breast cancer care," MCW representatives said. "The results of this analysis will be particularly pertinent as the healthcare industry moves toward an Accountable Care Organization environment in which there are financial disincentives for ineffective care."

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