Potentially avoidable hospitalizations after chemotherapy: Differences across medicare and the Veterans Health Administration. Cancer Gidwani-Marszowski, R., Faricy-Anderson, K., Asch, S. M., Illarmo, S., Ananth, L., Patel, M. I. 2020


BACKGROUND: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released quality measures regarding potentially avoidable hospitalizations visits in the 30days after receipt of outpatient chemotherapy. This study evaluated the proportions of patients treated by Medicare-reimbursed clinicians and Veterans Health Administration (VA) clinicians who experienced avoidable acute care in orderto evaluate differences in health system performance.METHODS: This retrospective evaluation of Medicare and VA administrative data used a cohort of cancer decedents (fiscal years 2010-2014). Cohort members were veterans aged 66years or older at death who were dually enrolled in Medicare and the VA. Chemotherapy was identified through International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Current Procedural Terminology(ICD-9) codes. CMS definesavoidable hospitalizations as those related to anemia, dehydration, diarrhea, emesis, fever, nausea, neutropenia, pain, pneumonia, or sepsis in the 30days after chemotherapy. Following CMS guidance, this study compared the proportions of patients with potentially avoidable hospitalizations, using hierarchicalgeneralized estimating equations.RESULTS: There were 27,443 patients who received outpatient chemotherapy. Patients receiving Medicare chemotherapy were significantly more likely to have potentially avoidable hospitalizations than patients receiving VA chemotherapy (adjusted odds ratio, 1.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.41-1.78; P<.001). In predicted estimates, 7.1% of Medicare-treated veterans had potentially avoidable hospitalizations in the 30days after chemotherapy, compared with4.6% of VA-treated veterans.CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate veterans with cancer receiving chemotherapy in the VA have higher quality care with respect to avoidable hospitalizations than veterans receiving chemotherapy through Medicare. As more veterans seek care in the private sector under the Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act, concerted efforts may be warranted to ensure that veterans do not experience a decline in care quality.

View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.32896

View details for PubMedID 32401340