Health Services Utilization and Payments in Patients With Cancer Pain: A Comparison of Intrathecal Drug Delivery vs. Conventional Medical Management

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To compare health services utilization and payments for cancer patients who received an implantable intrathecal drug delivery (IDD) system, consisting of a pump and catheter, vs. conventional medical management (CMM) for the treatment of cancer-related pain.


This retrospective claims-data analysis compared health services utilization and payments in a population of patients receiving either IDD or CMM for treatment of cancer pain. Patients were propensity score-matched 1:1 based on characteristics including, but not limited to, age, gender, cancer type, comorbid conditions, and health care utilization and payments.


From a sample of 142 IDD patients and 3188 CMM patients who met all inclusion/exclusion criteria, 73 matched pairs were obtained. In the year following implant, IDD patients had a consistent trend of lower medical utilization, and total payments that were $3195 lower compared to CMM.


Despite the high initial cost of IDD, this analysis suggests that patients with IDD incur lower medical utilization and payments over the first year post-implant. Further analysis comprised of a larger, longitudinal sample would contribute to health economics and outcomes research, and assist with future practice guideline development.

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