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J Oncol Pract. 2018 Oct 31:JOP1700040. doi: 10.1200/JOP.17.00040. [Epub ahead of print]

Cost Differences Associated With Oncology Care Delivered in a Community Setting Versus a Hospital Setting: A Matched-Claims Analysis of Patients With Breast, Colorectal, and Lung Cancers.

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Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, Gainesville; Xcenda, Palm Harbor, FL; and IntrinsiQ, Fresno, AZ.



Access to high-quality cancer care remains a challenge for many patients. One such barrier is the increasing cost of treatment. With recent shifts in cancer care delivery from community-based to hospital-based clinics, we examined whether this shift could result in increased costs for patients with three common tumor types.


Cost data for 6,675 patients with breast, lung, and colorectal cancer were extracted from the IMS LifeLink database and analyzed as cost per patient per month (PPPM). Patients treated within a community setting were matched (2 to 1) with those treated at a hospital clinic on the basis of cancer type, chemotherapy regimen, receipt of radiation therapy, presence of metastatic disease, sex, prior surgery, and geographic region. Approximately 84% of patients were younger than 65 years of age.


Mean total PPPM cost was significantly lower for patients treated in a community- versus hospital-based clinic ($12,548 [standard deviation {SD}, $10,507] v $20,060 [SD, $16,555]; P < .001). The PPPM chemotherapy cost was also significantly lower in the community setting ($4,933 [SD, $4,983] v $8,443 [SD, $10,391]; P < .001). The lower cost observed in community practice was irrespective of chemotherapy regimen and tumor type.


We observed significantly increased costs of care for our patient population treated at hospital-based clinics versus those treated at community-based clinics, largely driven by the increased cost of chemotherapy and provider visits in hospital-based clinics. If the site of cancer care delivery continues to shift toward hospital-based clinics, the increased health care spending for payers and patients should be better elucidated and addressed.


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