Cost of Cancer Care Significantly Different from Hospital-Employed Doctors vs Independent Practice Doctors
Instead of getting care from “community-based” or independent cancer doctors like OHC, many patients are getting care from doctors who are employed by hospitals, and seeing the costs rise.
Researchers at Xcenda, a global consultancy group, conducted a study to evaluate differences in total cost, emergency department (ED), and inpatient care for cancer patients diagnosed with 1 of 3 common tumor types.
In this analysis of patients treated by community-based/independent cancer doctors vs hospital-employed doctors:
- Chemotherapy was 71% more expensive
- Visits with clinicians were 333% more expensive
- Visits to emergency departments were higher in those treated in by hospital-employed doctors vs patients treated in by community-based, independent doctors
Drivers of the Cost Differential
In the study, chemotherapy and doctors’ visits were shown to be the largest drivers in the difference in cost. In the hospital-employed doctors’ setting (also called Outpatient Hospital-Based Practice), chemotherapy was 71% higher or $8,443 per month vs community-based, independent cancer doctors’ offices (also called Community Practice Costs) of $4,933 per month (Table 1).
This is obviously not good for patient care, for patient access to care, or for diversity. We need to take this to our representatives in congress so that changes can be made at a central level,” said Lucio Gordan, MD, Medical Director in the Division of Quality and Informatics at Florida Cancer Specialists and Research. “Obviously, hospitals have a very important and excellent role in care of patients, but it is certainly severely complicated when we are increasing the cost of care severely in oncology and other specialties. Something has to change, and it will take a large, concerted effort that includes legislative changes.”