Use of high-cost cancer treatments in academic and nonacademic practice Journal Article


Authors: Mitchell, A. P.; Kinlaw, A. C.; Peacock-Hinton, S.; Dusetzina, S. B.; Sanoff, H. K.; Lund, J. L.
Article Title: Use of high-cost cancer treatments in academic and nonacademic practice
Abstract: Background: Academic physicians, such as those affiliated with National Cancer Institute (NCI)–designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, may have different practice patterns regarding the use of high-cost cancer drugs than nonacademic physicians. Materials and Methods: For this cohort study, we linked cancer registry, administrative, and demographic data for patients with newly diagnosed cancer in North Carolina from 2004 to 2011. We selected cancer types with multiple U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved, National Comprehensive Cancer Network–recommended treatment options and large differences in reimbursement between higher-priced and lower-priced options (stage IV colorectal, stage IV lung, and stage II–IV head-and-neck cancers). We assessed whether provider's practice setting—NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (“NCI”) versus other location (“non-NCI”)—was associated with use of higher-cost treatment options. We used inverse probability of exposure weighting to control for patient characteristics. Results: Of 800 eligible patients, 79.6% were treated in non-NCI settings. Patients treated in non-NCI settings were more likely to receive high-cost treatment than patients treated in NCI settings (36.0% vs. 23.2%), with an unadjusted prevalence difference of 12.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.1%–20.0%). After controlling for potential confounding factors, non-NCI patients remained more likely to receive high-cost treatment, although the strength of association was attenuated (adjusted prevalence difference, 9.6%; 95% CI −0.1%–18.7%). Exploratory analyses suggested potential heterogeneity across cancer type and insurance status. Conclusion: Use of higher-cost cancer treatments may be more common in non-NCI than NCI settings. This may reflect differential implementation of clinical evidence, local practice variation, or possibly a response to the reimbursement incentives presented by chemotherapy billing. Implications for Practice: Oncology care delivery and practice patterns may vary between care settings. By comparing otherwise similar patients treated in National Cancer Institute (NCI)–designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers with those treated elsewhere, this study suggests that patients may be more likely to receive treatment with certain expensive cancer drugs if treated in the non-NCI setting. These practice differences may result in differences in patient costs and outcomes as a result of where they receive treatment. © AlphaMed Press 2019
Keywords: adult; middle aged; major clinical study; bevacizumab; cisplatin; cancer growth; antineoplastic agents; paclitaxel; cancer staging; sensitivity analysis; colorectal cancer; carboplatin; prevalence; cohort analysis; cetuximab; cancer therapy; panitumumab; health care cost; health insurance; reimbursement; lung adenocarcinoma; head and neck cancer; cancer registry; health services research; outpatient; health care system; drug therapy; pemetrexed; fee-for-service plans; national cancer institute; reimbursement, incentive; human; male; female; priority journal; article; medical overuse; practice pattern, clinical
Journal Title: The Oncologist
Volume: 25
Issue: 1
ISSN: 1083-7159
Publisher: AlphaMed Press  
Date Published: 2020-01-01
Start Page: 46
End Page: 54
Language: English
DOI: 10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0338
PUBMED: 31611329
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC6964140
DOI/URL:
Notes: Source: Scopus
Altmetric
Citation Impact
MSK Authors