Impact of Length of Hospice on Spending and Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Lung Cancer

Yamini Kalidindi, Jeah Jung, Joel Segel, Douglas Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: To estimate differences in spending and utilization between hospice users and non-users with lung cancer by length of hospice enrollment. Study Design: Retrospective analysis using 2009-2013 Medicare claims. Methods: The study sample was a 10% random sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with lung cancer who died between 2010 and 2013. We identified different categories of hospice users (hospice enrollment for 1-7 days, 8-14 days, 15-30 days, 31-60 days, 61 days – 6 months) and non-users. We used propensity score matching to match users in each enrollment category with non-users. The outcomes were: a) total Medicare spending, b) number of hospitalizations, c) number of emergency department (ED) visits, d) number of physician-administered chemotherapy claims, and e) number of radiation therapy sessions. Regression analysis was used to compare outcomes between users and non-users by enrollment period. Results: Hospice users had significantly lower spending, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer ED visits than non-users across all categories of hospice enrollment. Large savings occurred when patients stayed in hospice for at least one month (US$16,566 for those enrolled 61 days – 6 months; US$16,409 for those enrolled 31-60 days). Significant reduction in use of outpatient services including chemotherapy and radiation therapy was observed among patients using hospice for at least 1 month. Conclusions: Hospice led to cost savings by reducing utilization of aggressive care towards end-of-life among lung cancer patients. While cost savings were realized even when hospice is utilized for a short duration, large savings occurred when hospice is used for at least 1 month.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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