Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2014

Health Care Accountability: Examples in Cancer Treatment

by Regina E. Herzlinger and Natalie Kindred


This case is designed to support a discussion of the importance of outcomes evidence in empowering the public to make better health care decisions, the desired level of transparency and accountability for health care providers, and the issues with current measuring and reporting practices that undermine the quality and comparability of outcomes data. The case describes two approaches to measuring cancer treatment outcomes. First, it describes a prostate cancer outcomes study conducted by Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia, a subsidiary of Vantage Oncology, including a senior Vantage Oncology executive's views on the distinctive merits of this study's design. Second, the case describes treatment outcomes research by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) that compares cancer survival rates and costs of MSKCC and various comparator groups. The case briefly introduces a third approach, taken by Cancer Treatment Centers of America, in an Appendix.

Keywords: accountability; health care; cancer; cancer treatment; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Vantage Oncology; radiology; risk adjustment; treatment outcomes; health care outcomes; prostate cancer; transparency; Health Care and Treatment; Risk Management; Outcome or Result; Health Industry; United States;


Herzlinger, Regina E., and Natalie Kindred. "Health Care Accountability: Examples in Cancer Treatment." Harvard Business School Case 314-109, May 2014.