Bottom Line: Delivering infused chemotherapy in a physician office was associated with lower spending by commercial health insurers compared with chemotherapy administered in a hospital outpatient department.
Why The Research Is Interesting: Insurers typically reimburse payments at a higher rate to hospital outpatient departments than physician offices, although patients may receive the same treatment. Hospitals contend they have higher overhead costs and a more medically complex patient population. Critics argue the value of a service, not overhead expenses, should set prices.
Who and When: 283,502 patients who started treatment with infused chemotherapy from 2004 through 2014 and drawn from deidentified data of patient and insurer payments
What (Study Measures): Infused chemotherapy in a physician office or hospital outpatient department (exposure); health care expenditures measured at the line-item drug level, the day level (sum of all expenditures on the day a patient received chemotherapy) and the six-month treatment-episode level (sum of all services received within six months of the start of treatment) (outcomes)
How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control for all the natural differences that could explain study findings.
Authors: Aaron N. Winn, Ph.D., of the Medical
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