Two Innovative Cancer Care Programs Have Potential to Reduce Utilization and Spending
Cancer patients often present to the emergency department (ED) and hospital for symptom management, but many of these visits are avoidable and costly.Objective:
We assessed the impact of 2 Health Care Innovation Awards that used an oncology medical home model [Community Oncology Medical Home (COME HOME)] or patient navigation model [Patient Care Connect Program (PCCP)] on utilization and spending.Methods:
Participants in COME HOME and PCCP models were matched to similar comparators using propensity scores. We analyzed utilization and spending outcomes using Medicare fee-for-service claims with unadjusted and adjusted difference-in-differences models.Results:
In the adjusted models, both COME HOME and PCCP were associated with fewer ED visits than a comparison group (15 and 22 per 1000 patients/quarter, respectively; P<0.01). In addition, COME HOME had lower spending ($675 per patient/quarter; P<0.01), and PCCP had fewer hospitalizations (11 per 1000 patients/quarter; P<0.05), relative to the comparison group. Among patients undergoing chemotherapy, fewer COME HOME and PCCP patients had ED visits (18 and 28 per 1000 patients/quarter, respectively; P<0.01) and fewer PCCP patients had hospitalizations (13 per 1000 patients/quarter; P<0.05), than comparison patients.Conclusions:
The oncology medical home and patient navigator programs both showed reductions in spending or utilization. Adoption of such programs holds promise for improving cancer care.