Journal Article
. 2018 Dec; 15(1):e30-e38.
doi: 10.1200/JOP.18.00315.

Practice Patterns for Older Adult Patients With Advanced Cancer: Physician Office Versus Hospital Outpatient Setting

Allison Lipitz-Snyderman 1 Coral L Atoria 1 Stephen M Schleicher 1 Peter B Bach 1 Katherine S Panageas 1 
  • PMID: 30543762
  •     40 References
  •     1 citations


Purpose: A shift in outpatient oncology care from the physician's office to hospital outpatient settings has generated interest in the effect of practice setting on outcomes. Our objective was to examine whether medical oncologists' prescribing of drugs and services for older adult patients with advanced cancer is used more in physicians' offices compared with hospital outpatient departments.

Methods: This was a retrospective comparative study. SEER-Medicare data (2004 to 2011) were used to identify Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with advanced breast, colon, esophagus, non-small-cell lung, pancreatic, or stomach cancer. Between physicians' offices and hospital outpatient departments, we compared use of selected likely low-value supportive drugs, low-value therapeutic drugs, chemotherapy-related hospitalizations, and hospice. We used hierarchical modeling to assess differences between settings to account for correlation within physicians.

Results: Compared with patients treated in a hospital outpatient department, those treated in a physician's office setting were more likely to receive erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (odds ratio, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.53 to 1.94) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (odds ratio, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.38). For combination chemotherapy and nanoparticle albumin-bound-paclitaxel in patients with breast cancer, there was a trend toward higher use in physicians' offices, although this was not statistically significant. Chemotherapy-related hospitalizations and hospice did not vary by setting.

Conclusion: We found somewhat higher use of several drugs for patients with advanced cancer in physicians' office settings compared with hospital outpatient departments. Findings support research to dissect the mechanisms through which setting might influence physicians' behavior.

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