Value is a much-debated topic in healthcare and there is little consensus on what constitutes high-value care. For some, it is purely a matter of cost. For others, it is a function of outcome and cost--how much does it cost to derive a specific outcome? While research can give providers a statistical average of a measurable outcome and the cost of the therapy associated with achieving it, a third component is still not included in the calculation--the quality of life during the period during which a patient receives treatment. A particular therapy can have a very good outcome, but with a very high cost or extremely challenging side-effects. Also, the term "financial toxicity" has entered our vocabulary and is used to describe treatments that are so expensive that they may be out of reach for many patients, irrespective of their outcomes.
However, one fact has been determined through vigorous research over and over again in peer-reviewed journals, is that care provided in a hospital-based setting is far more costly than care provided in a doctor's office. Some studies have indicated that the cost can be as much as 60% higher. This cost, at least in part, is passed on to patients in the form of higher copayments, etc. It is also passed on to the entire healthcare system as overall costs are driven ever higher. Here are some of the studies conducted over the past decade:
- Trends In Cancer Costs
- Site of Care Cost Analysis White Paper
- Cost Site Differences Study
- Site of Service Cost Differences
- Cancer Treatment Costs
- Cost of Cancer Care Study
- Cost Differential of Immuno-Oncology TherapyDelivered at Community Versus Hospital Clinics
- Cost Differences for Oncology Medicines based on Site of Treatment
As UHO physicians strive to maintain compliance with international treatment guidelines, they will be following the same regimens as other physicians whose practices are hospital-based. We provide the same care at a much lower cost and, often, much closer to home.
By any measure, the same world-class care at a much lower cost = higher value.