New Cancer Diagnosis Costs and Follow up Patterns for Uninsured vs Insured Patients: A Quality Improvement Project (CTRC#13-0038)
The financial cost of cancer is a large burden to the patient and their family, as well as the US Economy. National cancer care expenditures have been rising substantially in the US over the last several years, and accounted for $124.6 billion in medical care expenditures in 2010 . Expenditures associated with cancer can be divided into the initial phase after diagnosis, the continuing phase or monitoring phase, and the last year of life. Cancers with the largest expenditures in the initial phase of care are female breast, colorectal, lung and prostate . We hope to examine these costs during the initial phase, based on cancer type, insurance status of patient, and further subdivide this category to see where costs are being allocated (i.e. surgery, biopsy, hospital complications, etc.). With this study we also hope to examine the follow up patterns of these patients at University Hospital with newly diagnosed cancer. Several studies have showed differences in timeliness of follow up after abnormal screening mammography, specifically in breast cancer [2-4]. It will be helpful for us to see the follow up rates with the Oncologist based on the various cancer types, as well as the insurance status of the patient. It has been shown that patient navigator intervention, or phone calls after hospital discharge have improved follow up rates. By collecting patient information at time of admission and following up with for up to four months post discharge, we hope to also improve the time to cancer treatment as well as the rate of follow up with an Oncologist for future patients by identifying patients at higher risk for not following up with recommended providers after discharge from University Hospital.