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Sarguni Singh, Megan Eguchi, Sung-Joon Min and Stacy Fischer

Background: After discharge from an acute care hospitalization, patients with cancer may choose to pursue rehabilitative care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). The objective of this study was to examine receipt of anticancer therapy, death, readmission, and hospice use among patients with cancer who discharge to an SNF compared with those who are functionally able to discharge to home or home with home healthcare in the 6 months after an acute care hospitalization. Methods: A population-based cohort study was conducted using the SEER-Medicare database of patients with stage II–IV colorectal, pancreatic, bladder, or lung cancer who had an acute care hospitalization between 2010 and 2013. A total of 58,770 cases were identified and patient groups of interest were compared descriptively using means and standard deviations for continuous variables and frequencies and percentages for categorical variables. Logistic regression was used to compare patient groups, adjusting for covariates. Results: Of patients discharged to an SNF, 21%, 17%, and 2% went on to receive chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and targeted chemotherapy, respectively, compared with 54%, 28%, and 6%, respectively, among patients discharged home. Fifty-six percent of patients discharged to an SNF died within 6 months of their hospitalization compared with 36% discharged home. Thirty-day readmission rates were 29% and 28% for patients discharged to an SNF and home, respectively, and 12% of patients in hospice received <3 days of hospice care before death regardless of their discharge location. Conclusions: Patients with cancer who discharge to an SNF are significantly less likely to receive subsequent oncologic treatment of any kind and have higher mortality compared with patients who discharge to home after an acute care hospitalization. Further research is needed to understand and address patient goals of care before discharge to an SNF.

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Jessica D. McDermott, Megan Eguchi, Rustain Morgan, Arya Amini, Julie A. Goddard, Evelinn A. Borrayo and Sana D. Karam

Background: In this population study, we compared head and neck cancer (HNC) prognosis and risk factors in 2 underserved minority groups (Hispanic and Black non-Hispanic patients) with those in other racial/ethnicity groups. Methods: In this SEER-Medicare database study in patients with HNC diagnosed in 2006 through 2015, we evaluated cancer-specific survival (CSS) between different racial/ethnic cohorts as the main outcome. Patient demographics, tumor factors, socioeconomic status, and treatments were analyzed in relation to the primary outcomes between racial/ethnic groups. Results: Black non-Hispanic patients had significantly worse CSS than all other racial/ethnic groups, including Hispanic patients, in unadjusted univariate analysis (Black non-Hispanic patients: hazard ratio, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.33–1.65; Hispanic patients: hazard ratio, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.99–1.28). To investigate the association of several variables with CSS, data were stratified for multivariate analysis using forward Cox regression. This identified socioeconomic status, cancer stage, and receipt of treatment as predictive factors for the survival differences. Black non-Hispanic patients were most likely to present at a later stage (odds ratio, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.38–1.90) and to receive less treatment (odds ratio, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.55–0.81). Unmarried status, high poverty areas, increased emergency department visits, and receipt of healthcare at non-NCI/nonteaching hospitals also significantly impacted stage and treatment. Conclusions: Black non-Hispanic patients have a worse HNC prognosis than patients in all other racial/ethnic groups, including Hispanic patients. Modifiable risk factors include access to nonemergent care and prevention measures, such as tobacco cessation; presence of social support; communication barriers; and access to tertiary centers for appropriate treatment of their cancers.