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Eric Roeland, Charles Loprinzi, Timothy J. Moynihan, Thomas J. Smith and Jennifer Temel

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Eric J. Roeland, Daniel P. Triplett, Rayna K. Matsuno, Isabel J. Boero, Lindsay Hwang, Heidi N. Yeung, Loren Mell and James D. Murphy

Background: The role of palliative care has expanded over the past several decades, although the oncology-specific regional evolution of this specialty has not been characterized at the population-based level. Methods: This study defined the patterns of palliative care delivery using a retrospective cohort of patients with advanced cancer within the SEER-Medicare linked database. We identified 83,022 patients with metastatic breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers. We studied trends between 2000 through 2009, and determined patient-level and regional-level predictors of palliative care delivery. Results: Palliative care consultation rates increased from 3.0% in 2000 to 12.9% in 2009, with most consultations occurring in the last 4 weeks of life (77%) in the inpatient hospital setting. The rates of palliative care delivery were highest in the West (7.6%) and lowest in the South (3.2%). The likelihood of palliative care consultation increased with decreasing numbers of regional acute care hospital beds per capita. The use of palliative care consultation increased with increasing numbers of regional physicians. The use of palliative care decreased with increasing regional Medicare expenditure with a $1,387 difference per beneficiary between the first and fourth quartiles of palliative care use. Conclusions: Geographic location influences a patient's options for palliative care in the United States. Although the overall rates of palliative care are increasing, future effort should focus on improving palliative care services in regions with the least access.

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Emily J. Martin, Eric J. Roeland, Madison B. Sharp, Carolyn Revta, James D. Murphy, Katherine E. Fero and Heidi N. Yeung

Background: Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is an effective approach to treat pain. However, data regarding patterns of PCA use for cancer pain are limited. The purpose of this study was to define the patterns of PCA use and related outcomes in hospitalized patients with cancer. Methods: We identified 90 patients with cancer admitted to a single academic center who received PCA for nonsurgical, cancer-related pain and survived to discharge between January 2013 and January 2014. Data collected included patient demographics, cancer diagnosis, type of cancer-related pain, PCA use, opioid-specific adverse events, and 30-day readmission rates for pain. Univariable and multivariable linear regression models were used to analyze the association between patient and clinical variables with PCA duration. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between patient and clinical variables and 30-day readmission rates. Results: The median length of hospitalization was 10.2 days with a median PCA duration of 4.4 days. Hematologic malignancies were associated with longer PCA use (P=.0001), as was younger age (P=.032). A trend was seen toward decreased 30-day readmission rates with longer PCA use (P=.054). No correlation was found between 30-day readmission and any covariate studied, including age, sex, cancer type (solid vs hematologic), pain type, palliative care consult, or time from PCA discontinuation to discharge. Conclusions: This study suggests that there is longer PCA use in younger patients and those with hematologic malignancies admitted with cancer-related pain, with a trend toward decreased 30-day readmission rates in those with longer PCA use.

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Eric J Roeland, Thomas W. LeBlanc, Kathryn J. Ruddy, Ryan Nipp, Rebecca Clark-Snow, Rita Wickham, Gary Binder, William L. Bailey, Ravi Potluri, Luke M. Schmerold, Eros Papademetriou and Rudolph M. Navari

Background: Avoiding acute care services can improve cancer care and reduce cost. The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new oncology outcome measure (OP-35) defines 30-day post-chemotherapy inpatient (IP) and/or emergency department (ED) events (IP/ED) as “potentially avoidable” if involving any of 10 toxicities, including nausea or vomiting (NV). Evidence demonstrates meaningful gaps in oncologists’ adherence to antiemetic prophylaxis guidelines for highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC), and that NV-related IP use costs >$10,000; yet the incidence of avoidable acute care events involving NV is not well studied. Methods: We assessed chemotherapy courses using IBM Explorys electronic health records (4Q 2012–1Q 2018). We identified rates of IP/ED ≤30 days post-chemotherapy, and OP-35 toxicities (NV, anemia, dehydration, diarrhea, fever, neutropenia, pain, pneumonia, or sepsis) by ICD-9, ICD-10, procedure codes, and CMS criteria. We evaluated cisplatin, anthracycline + cyclophosphamide (AC), carboplatin (>14 days apart, as a proxy for AUC ≥4), oxaliplatin (OX), and other non-HEC chemotherapy. We assessed guideline adherence, defined as triple prophylaxis (NK1 RA + 5HT3 RA +dexamethasone) rates at HEC initiation. Results: In 17,609 HEC and 56,624 non-HEC courses, we observed 30-day IP/ED utilization in 29% and 19% of courses, respectively (Table 1). For HEC, 76% of IP/ED use involved ≥1 of the 10 CMS toxicities, most often anemia (42%), pain (41%), dehydration (24%), and NV (24%). Rates of all-cause IP/ED, IP/ED with OP-35 toxicity, and NV-related IP/ED were consistent for HEC and OX. Gaps in triple prophylaxis were common in HEC. Conclusion: Roughly one-third of patients receiving HEC or OX experienced IP/ED events ≤30 days after chemotherapy. Three-quarters of IP/ED events involved ≥1 of 10 OP-35 toxicities linked by CMS to potentially avoidable acute care; of these, one-third involved NV. NV-associated acute care use is considerable, costly, and potentially avoidable with better adherence to antiemesis guidelines.

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Michael J. Berger, David S. Ettinger, Jonathan Aston, Sally Barbour, Jason Bergsbaken, Philip J. Bierman, Debra Brandt, Dawn E. Dolan, Georgiana Ellis, Eun Jeong Kim, Steve Kirkegaard, Dwight D. Kloth, Ruth Lagman, Dean Lim, Charles Loprinzi, Cynthia X. Ma, Victoria Maurer, Laura Boehnke Michaud, Lisle M. Nabell, Kim Noonan, Eric Roeland, Hope S. Rugo, Lee S. Schwartzberg, Bridget Scullion, John Timoney, Barbara Todaro, Susan G. Urba, Dorothy A. Shead and Miranda Hughes

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Antiemesis address all aspects of management for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on recent updates to the NCCN Guidelines for Antiemesis, specifically those regarding carboplatin, granisetron, and olanzapine.