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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.

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Mandy R. Sakamoto, Megan Eguchi, Christine M. Azelby, Jennifer R. Diamond, Christine M. Fisher, Virginia F. Borges, Cathy J. Bradley and Peter Kabos

Background: Opioid and benzodiazepine use and abuse is a national healthcare crisis to which patients with cancer are particularly vulnerable. Long-term use and risk factors for opioid and benzodiazepine use in patients with breast cancer is poorly characterized. Methods: We conducted a retrospective population-based study of patients with breast cancer diagnosed between 2008 and 2015 undergoing curative-intent treatment identified through the SEER-Medicare linked database. Primary outcomes were new persistent opioid use and new persistent benzodiazepine use. Factors associated with new opioid and benzodiazepine use were investigated by univariate and multivariable logistic regression. Results: Among opioid-naïve patients, new opioid use was observed in 22,418 (67.4%). Of this group, 611 (2.7%) developed persistent opioid use at 3 months and 157 (0.7%) at 6 months after treatment. Risk factors for persistent use at 3 and 6 months included stage III disease (odds ratio [OR], 2.16; 95% CI, 1.49–3.12, and OR, 3.48; 95% CI, 1.58–7.67), surgery plus chemotherapy (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.10–1.88, and OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.40–3.71), surgery plus chemoradiation therapy (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.10–1.96, and OR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.38–3.96), and initial tramadol use (OR, 2.66; 95% CI, 2.05–3.46, and OR, 3.12; 95% CI, 1.93–5.04). Among benzodiazepine-naïve patients, new benzodiazepine use was observed in 955 (10.3%), and 111 (11.6%) developed new persistent use at 3 months. Tamoxifen use was statistically significantly associated with new persistent benzodiazepine use at 3 months. Conclusions: A large percentage of patients receiving curative-intent treatment of breast cancer were prescribed new opioids; however, only a small number developed new persistent opioid use. In contrast, a smaller proportion of patients received a new benzodiazepine prescription; however, new persistent use after completion of treatment was more likely and particularly related to concurrent treatment with tamoxifen.