Background: The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) have directed the care of patients with cancer for >20 years. Payers are implementing guideline-based pathway programs that restrict reimbursement for non–guideline-based care to control costs, yet evidence regarding impact of guidelines on outcomes, including mortality, Medicare costs, and healthcare utilization, is limited. Patients and Methods: This analysis evaluated concordance of first treatment with NCCN Guidelines for women with de novo stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC) included within the SEER-Medicare linked database and diagnosed between 2007 and 2013. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the association between mortality and guideline concordance. Linear mixed-effects and generalized linear models were used to evaluate total cost to Medicare and rates of healthcare utilization by concordance status. Results: We found that 19% of patients (188/988) with de novo MBC received nonconcordant treatment. Patients receiving nonconcordant treatment were more likely to be younger and have hormone receptor–negative and HER2-positive MBC. The most common category of nonconcordant treatment was use of adjuvant regimens in the metastatic setting (40%). Adjusted mortality risk was similar for patients receiving concordant and nonconcordant treatments (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; 95% confidence limit [CL], 0.69, 1.05). When considering category of nonconcordance, patients receiving adjuvant regimens in the metastatic setting had a decreased risk of mortality (HR, 0.60; 95% CL, 0.43, 0.84). Nonconcordant treatments were associated with $1,867 higher average Medicare costs per month compared with concordant treatments (95% CL, $918, $2,817). Single-agent HER2-targeted therapy was the highest costing category of nonconcordance at $3,008 (95% CL, $1,014, $5,001). Healthcare utilization rates were similar for patients receiving concordant and nonconcordant treatments. Conclusions: Despite a lack of survival benefit, concordant care was associated with lower costs, suggesting potential benefit to increasing standardization of care. These findings may influence policy decisions regarding implementation of pathway programs as health systems transition to value-based models.
Gabrielle B. Rocque, Courtney P. Williams, Bradford E. Jackson, Stacey A. Ingram, Karian I. Halilova, Maria Pisu, Kelly M. Kenzik, Andres Azuero, Andres Forero, and Smita Bhatia
Gabrielle B. Rocque, Richard A. Taylor, Aras Acemgil, Xuelin Li, Maria Pisu, Kelly Kenzik, Bradford E. Jackson, Karina I. Halilova, Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Karen Meneses, Yufeng Li, Michelle Y. Martin, Carol Chambless, Nedra Lisovicz, Mona Fouad, Edward E. Partridge, Elizabeth A. Kvale, and the Patient Care Connect Group
Background: There is growing interest in psychosocial care and evaluating distress in patients with cancer. As of 2015, the Commission on Cancer requires cancer centers to screen patients for distress, but the optimal approach to implementation remains unclear. Methods: We assessed the feasibility and impact of using distress assessments to frame lay navigator interactions with geriatric patients with cancer who were enrolled in navigation between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014. Results: Of the 5,121 patients enrolled in our lay patient navigation program, 4,520 (88%) completed at least one assessment using a standardized distress tool (DT). Navigators used the tool to structure both formal and informal distress assessments. Of all patients, 24% reported distress scores of 4 or greater and 5.5% reported distress scores of 8 or greater. The most common sources of distress at initial assessment were pain, balance/mobility difficulties, and fatigue. Minority patients reported similar sources of distress as the overall program population, with increased relative distress related to logistical issues, such as transportation and financial/insurance questions. Patients were more likely to ask for help with questions about insurance/financial needs (79%), transportation (76%), and knowledge deficits about diet/nutrition (76%) and diagnosis (66%) when these items contributed to distress. Conclusions: Lay navigators were able to routinely screen for patient distress at a high degree of penetration using a structured distress assessment.