(HealthDay News) — Non-salaried oncologists report the potential for increased salaries with the administration of chemotherapy or growth factors for lung or colorectal cancer patients, according to a study published online Dec. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Jennifer L. Malin, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California at Los Angeles, and colleagues surveyed 480 U.S. oncologists involved in the care of a population-based cohort of patients with lung or colorectal cancer. The authors sought to measure the effects of prescribing chemotherapy or growth factors or making referrals to other cancer specialists, hospice, or hospital admissions on medical oncologists’ income.

According to the researchers, most oncologists reported that their incomes would be unaffected. But, physicians in fee-for-service practice and those paid a salary with productivity incentives were significantly more likely to report that their income would increase from administering chemotherapy (odds ratios, 7.05 and 7.52, respectively) or administering growth factors (odds ratios, 5.60 and 6.03, respectively), compared with salaried oncologists.

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“A substantial proportion of oncologists who are not paid a fixed salary report that their incomes increase when they administer chemotherapy and growth factors,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries.

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