Authors: Herrel LA, Zhu Z, Griggs JJ, Kaye DR, Dupree JM, Ellimoottil CS, Miller DC
Title: Association Between Delivery System Structure and Intensity of End-of-Life Cancer Care.
Journal: JCO Oncol Pract :JOP1900667-
Date: 2020 Feb 18
PubMed ID: 32069191
Abstract: PURPOSE: To determine whether the type of delivery system is associated with intensity of care at the end of life for Medicare beneficiaries with cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We used SEER registry data linked with Medicare claims to evaluate intensity of end-of-life care for patients who died of one of ten common cancers diagnosed from 2009 through 2014. Patients were categorized as receiving the majority of their care in an integrated delivery system, designated cancer center, health system that was both integrated and a certified cancer center, or health system that was neither. We evaluated adherence to seven nationally endorsed end-of-life quality measures using generalized linear models across four delivery system types. RESULTS: Among 100,549 beneficiaries who died of cancer during the study interval, we identified only modest differences in intensity of end-of-life care across delivery system structures. Health systems with no cancer center or integrated affiliation demonstrated higher proportions of patients with multiple hospitalizations in the last 30 days of life (11.3%), death in an acute care setting (25.9%), and lack of hospice use in the last year of life (31.6%; all P < .001). Patients enrolled in hospice had lower intensity care across multiple end-of-life quality measures. CONCLUSION: Intensity of care at the end of life for patients with cancer was higher at delivery systems with no integration or cancer focus. Maximal supportive care delivered through hospice may be one avenue to reduce high-intensity care at the end of life and may impact quality of care for patients dying from cancer.