Demonstrating value: association of cost and quality outcomes with implementation of a value-driven oncology-hospitalist inpatient collaboration for patients with lung cancer.
BMJ Open Qual. 2019;8(1):e000381
Authors: Manzano JG, Park A, Lin H, Liu S, Halm J
The hospitalist model of care has gained favour in many hospital systems for the value, cost-effectiveness and quality of care that hospitalists provide. Hospitalists are experts in high-acuity medical problems of patients and they are intimately knowledgeable about hospital operations that enable efficiency of patient care. This results in tremendous cost-savings for institutions especially since hospitalists are also obligated to be involved in quality and practice improvement initiatives. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center employs oncology-hospitalists for many of their patients with cancer needing inpatient services. This physician team has expertise in both cancer-related and comorbidity-related reasons for hospitalisation. In September 2015, the thoracic and head and neck medical oncology team started a collaboration with the Oncology Hospitalist team whereby a proportion of patients with thoracic malignancies were directly admitted to hospitalists for inpatient care. To determine the value of this collaboration, a pre- and post- implementation study was done to compare quality outcomes such as readmission rates and length of stay (LOS) between the two groups. Adjusted outcomes showed that readmission rates were similar for both physician groups both at baseline and after implementation of the collaborative (p=0.680 and p=0.840, respectively). Median LOS was similar for both groups at baseline (4 days) and was not significantly different post-implementation (4vs5 days, p=0.07). The adjusted cost of a hospitalisation was also similar for hospitalist encounters and thoracic oncology encounters. This initial study showed that quality of care remained comparable for patients with lung cancer who were admitted to either service. With possibly shorter LOS but comparable readmission outcomes and adjusted cost for patients discharged from the hospitalist service, there is a strong value benefit for the implemented Thoracic Oncology-Hospitalist inpatient collaborative.
PMID: 30997414 [PubMed]