Center for Applied Cancer Health Policy

Sylvia Rice


The Center for Applied Cancer Health Policy  — affiliated with Duke Cancer Institute's Cancer Control & Population Sciences Research Program and directed by Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, FASCO — focuses on research at the interface of policy and the cancer patient experience. Broad topics of investigation include affordability of care, treatment decision-making, and the role of behavioral science in cost and value. Our research focuses on affordability, treatment decision-making and behavioral science among other topics.

  • Affordability We are examining whether oral chemotherapy parity laws reduce out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients; if value-based insurance design impacts clinical decision-making for providers and patients; how manufacturer financial assistance programs impact patient costs, and how the  affordability of cancer care impacts cancer outcomes.
  • Treatment decision-making We are asking if informing providers about patients’ financial burden changes treatment decision-making; if all-payer claims databases can inform treatment choices, thereby reducing patient costs; how patients facing catastrophic illness make decisions regarding insurance plan selection; and if sharing affordability and cost data impact patient decision-making.
  • Behavioral science Our research also looks at how out-of-pocket costs might be reduced for patients using a behavioral science approach; how cancer patients define value in cancer care; how we can we help patients understand value in cancer care; and how to educate physicians about the cultural change needed to address care affordability.

Select Recent Publications

Original Research 

Commentaries and Reviews 

In the News