Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently published a study which proposed five ways to reduce “unplanned acute care” for U.S. cancer patients, which could help ease the cost burden on the health care system.
The study, led by the Perelman School of Medicine’s Dr. Nathan Handley, proposed the following strategies:
- Identify patients at high risk for unplanned acute care;
- Enhance access and care coordination;
- Standardize clinical pathways for symptom management;
- Develop new loci for urgent cancer care; and
- Use early palliative care.
Speaking to the Journal of Clinical Pathways, Handley says data on the cost burden of acute care reveals how “large this concern actually is.”
“In 2011, there was a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that examined current and projected costs of care at that time, Handley said. “In 2010, the total cost of cancer care in the United States was around $125 billion. Researchers projected that number would reach about $160 billion by 2020 based on population growth alone. But if the cost of care also increased, using a conservative estimate of about 2 percent per year, then the projected total cost of cancer care would reach about $174 billion by 2020.”
To read more of the interview on the Journal of Clinical Pathways, click here.